After 90 inmates test positive for coronavirus, latest mass testing results at Chesapeake jail more optimistic

Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — After a coronavirus outbreak at the Chesapeake Correctional Center, there’s some optimistic news.

Last week, 10 On Your Side reported 90 inmates and six deputies had tested positive for the coronavirus.

On Monday, results for facility-wide testing — which was ordered Nov. 18 — were 71% complete. Those results showed no new cases. Overall, 859 inmates and 360 employees were tested, meaning there are 350 outstanding test results.

There were no new positive cases of COVID-19 in those initial 71% of results, according to a facility spokeswoman. Of those test results, 10 inmates had inconclusive tests and one test was “invalid.”

One additional employee tested positive. The rest of the correctional staff and court personnel were negative.

The jail initially said Monday it had received 100% of results back, but on Tuesday corrected their initial release to reflect that only 71% of results had been returned. The facility said the mistake was a result of a “miscommunication with the testing contractor.”

The facility hopes to have the rest of the results by Wednesday.

The facility has also taken steps to reduce the risk of transmission inside the facility, including:

  • Increasing sanitation around the sheriff’s office buildings.
  • Requiring medical screenings and 14-day quarantine for new inmates
  • Requiring temperature and symptom checks for employees reporting to work
  • Mandating masks for employees during their shifts and inmates when they aren’t in their housing unit
  • Giving inmates education about the coronavirus and CDC recommendations
  • Limiting exposure by closing the facility to the public, canceling the Weekender Program and suspending most workforce programs

Correction: An original version of this story initially said all test results had been released, per information from the jail released Monday. On Tuesday, the facility issued a news release correcting the information, saying only 71% of test results had been completed as of Tuesday.


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