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104 inmates, 5 staff test positive for Covid-19 virus at Virginia jail

Infected Virginia Beach Correctional Center prisoners are in medical quarantine; 4 deputies, 1 civilian can return when cleared by a physician.

Over 100 inmates and 5 staff members at a Virginia jail have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Friday, after testing nearly 1,600 individuals at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center, 74 new positive cases were found among the jail's inmates. Officials said 30 had been previously known.

The testing, done in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, included not only inmates, but also deputies, civilians, and contractors. Five staff members tested positive, according to the statement, putting the total number of positive results inside the jail at 109.

"We have been preparing for this & will do everything we can to contain the spread & protect the health & safety of our staff, the inmates & the public,” wrote Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle in a tweet. “I am in constant communication with the VA Department of Health as we work hand-in-hand to combat #COVID19 in the jail.”

Inmates who’ve tested positive have been notified and placed under quarantine, where they’re being closely monitored and will receive medical attention if needed. They’ve also had the opportunity to notify their friends and family.

The five staff members – four deputies and one civilian who works in the jail – have been directed to quarantine and seek medical attention on their own, if needed. They’ll be allowed to return to work only after a physician clears them.

The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office says its partnership with state officials continues.

“We are working closely with the VDH to contain the spread and protect the health and safety of those living and working inside the Correctional Center,” the statement read. “At the recommendation of the VDH, everyone will be tested again in the near future.”

According to the statement, a re-testing date has not yet been determined.

In a follow-up tweet, Stolle wrote, “I am praying for a full and speedy recovery for everyone who has tested positive here and will ensure they receive the medical care and support they need.”

Throughout the state of Virginia, 254 prisoners onsite in facilities and 84 staff members have active cases of Covid-19, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections.