GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Josephine County Jail has identified a growing outbreak of coronavirus cases after several inmates reported feeling ill last week, according to the Josephine County Sheriff's Office.
Last Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office said that some of the inmates began to report feeling flu-like symptoms. Jail staff separated them from the general population an tested them for COVID-19. By Friday, test results revealed 6 positive cases.
The Sheriff's Office said that it notified Josephine County Public Health and worked with them on a plan to test the entire jail population, including staff, with BINAX rapid tests. Once testing was completed on all inmates and staff, there were 19 new positive results.
This Tuesday, all of the inmates and staff were tested again with the BINAX rapid tests — revealing 5 more positive results.
The Sheriff's Office says that it will be testing all inmates and staff again on Monday, February 8, at the recommendation of public health officials. This time, the typical PCR tests will be used.
"Once those test results are known, future testing needs will be determined," the Sheriff's Office said.
The Josephine County Jail has been placed on "modified programs" until cases have been contained and treated, with the goal of reducing further spread. The Sheriff's Office says that it is continuing to work with public health officials on health and safety measures for both inmates and staff.