VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office (VBSO) announced Wednesday that after the fourth round of mass testing, they have seen a reduction in positive COVID-19 cases.
Officials with VBSO say that 1,532 inmates, deputies, civilians, and contractors were tested for the coronavirus on Nov. 20.
From those results, inmate cases have seen about a 20% reduction as the positive cases are down to 83 from the 104 cases reported as part of the Nov. 9 testing.
Officials say that of the recent results, 42 inmate cases are new and 41 are from those who previously tested positive. The inmates have been notified and placed in quarantine, where they are receiving medical care. Officials also say they have also been given an opportunity to notify their friends and family.
“I am encouraged to report that we are trending down in positive inmate cases of COVID-19. I think we are on the downhill side of this outbreak, but we are not out of the woods yet. We will continue working with the Virginia Department of Health to reduce the spread and protect the health and safety of everyone who lives and works inside the Virginia Beach Correctional Center,” said Sheriff Ken Stolle.
“We care about everyone here – deputies and inmates alike – and we will do everything we can to defeat this outbreak,” Stolle continued.
The staff results from the recent testing, on the other hand, increased slightly with seven newly reported cases in comparison to the five positive cases reported earlier this month.
Of the seven personnel, six are deputies and one is a civilian worker — all of who work in the jail and have been instructed to quarantine at home and seek medical attention.
The other three rounds of mass testing (point prevalence study) took place June 24-25, Oct. 28-30, and Nov. 9.
The June testing came after an inmate tested positive for the virus. At that time, VBSO officials said no additional deputies or civilians tested positive for COVID-19.
Shortly after that, VBSO released a statement saying that since Oct. 16, four deputies and two inmates tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result of the positive cases, VBSO conducted additional mass testing of all staff and inmates while implementing additional safety precautions throughout the facility.
During the Oct. 28-30 testing, VBSO said 10 deputies along with 70 inmates tested positive for COVID-19.
Shortly after the results were released, the jail released a statement saying, “Four deputies tested positive as a result of that PPS (six of the positive tests were invalid because they were retests of previously positive individuals who should not have been retested, per the VDH).”
Read the full statement here.
Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the Nov. 9 results revealed five staff members and 104 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus.
A spokesperson with the VBSO says the next round of testing is scheduled for Dec. 4.
The Sheriff’s Office implemented COVID-19 protocols in March and has continued to take the necessary steps to contain the coronavirus while protecting the health and safety of the inmates, deputies, civilian staff, and public. Those steps are detailed at vbso.net/coronavirus.
Additionally, the VBSO is extending the cancellation of the Weekender Program (serving of all non-consecutive sentences) until Jan. 1, 2021.
The results of the tests and weekly testing updates can be found here.
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