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Jackson County Jail assigns team to handle COVID-19 concerns

Among other things, the jail has implemented new screening questions into the intake process.

Posted: Mar 11, 2020 2:30 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 9:56 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Jackson County Jail says they have assigned a team to handle all things surrounding COVID-19 coronavirus.

“As soon as it came into the public that this might be a concern, we assigned a team to start working on some of those issues and what that’s come down to us breaks down into a few parts,” said Lt. Josh Aldrich, the Jackson County Jail Commander.

Lt. Aldrich says the jail has implemented new screening questions into the intake process to help try to identify anyone that might be infected. From there, they have established two housing locations that would be used as quarantine areas until testing could be done.

“Jails are designed, in part, to have isolation areas,” said Lt. Aldrich, “we have a couple housing units that were designed when the building was created for isolation or possibly any contagious issues.”

Those housing locations are called “negative air-flow units” and don’t allow the air from inside the unit to travel throughout the facility.

The jail says they have been in contact with Jackson County Public Health and have attended a webinar that addressed jails and their response to COVID-19 coronavirus, provided by the American Corrections Association.

“We don’t have any reason to believe we have anybody here that’s contaminated right now,” said Lt. Aldrich, “nobody is fitting those screening criteria that we have currently or have had recently in our jail.”

At this time the jail says there are no discussions about shutting down any of jail services.

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