Oktibbeha jail employees and inmates test positive for COVID-19




Tess Vrbin



The Oktibbeha County Jail implemented stronger safety protocols after a few inmates and employees tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus in the last couple weeks, head jailer Shawn Word told The Dispatch.


The inmates that tested positive and do not show symptoms have been in quarantine for almost two weeks, and the ones that did show symptoms received medical treatment, Word said. Employees who tested positive were sent home for two weeks.


Word said he did not know exactly how many inmates and employees tested positive but estimated about 30 people were tested.



Since March, all inmates are screened for symptoms as soon as they are booked into the jail and are quarantined regardless of temperature or symptoms, Capt. Brett Watson said. They are moved to the general population if they do not show COVID-19 symptoms after 14 days, unless they are released before then.


In addition to quarantine protocols, employees wear gloves and protective face masks and are disinfecting the jail three times a day, and inmates are provided with masks to wear if they are moved from one zone to another, Word said.


The Clay and Lowndes county jails have had no confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Lowndes County Chief Deputy Brent Swan and Clay County Jail Officer Latisha Nance.





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