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39 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported inside the Vermilion Parish Jail

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Posted at 2:29 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 15:33:28-04

The Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office says that there are 39 confirmed COVID-19 cases inside the Vermilion Parish Jail.

That number is as of Monday, July 27, 2020

According to Chief Deputy and Warden Colonel Kirk J. Frith with the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office, the parish jail has undergone changes since March of this year with stringent protocols designed to minimize the chance of the virus making entry into the parish jail.

Some of the precautions taken include no public access to the jail along with new inmate intake procedures that include in-depth questionnaires, temperature screenings and health appraisals on all new inmates as soon as they reach the sally port intake area and a 14 day quarantine of all new inmates before being housed in general population areas.

Other precautions within the jail include issuing masks to inmates upon intake along with minimal and limited movement within the jail, which include no inmate visitation, the restriction of inmate movement within housing units and even feeding in the housing units rather than the dining room. However, the ability to social distance in a jail environment is impossible due to the nature of the jail facility where inmates are housed in pairs and/or in groups in dormitory settings, a release states.

Additional precautions for jail staff that began in March include all of the standard procedures like the wearing of mask, daily temperature screenings before entry to the jail to work, daily sanitation of work areas along with mandatory symptom reporting that would result in testing with a quarantine away from work for any jail staff suspected and/or testing positive for the virus. Additionally, the jail facility has been utilizing technology to facilitate court proceedings remotely in an effort to eliminate or at least minimize moving offenders to and from the jail.

“The many precautions we implemented in March of this year coupled with many new procedures added along the way when new information became available, has been enormous in our efforts to minimize the chance of virus entry into the parish jail and just when you think maybe you have created a fortress against the virus’ ability to enter, you discover that the virus has made its way in. I suspect it got in by an asymptomatic infection, where there were no signs or symptoms to be displayed or discovered,” said Colonel Frit.

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