Six inmates and one employee at Al Cannon Detention Center have tested positive for COVID-19, as of Thursday. Two inmates have been released on a judge’s order and four are undergoing medical treatment while quarantined in jail, according to Charleston County Sheriff’s Office updates.
The employee, a detention deputy, has been with the agency since 2003.
[content-1] In response to the pandemic, CCSO says they are implementing new protocols to hopefully curb an increase of cases. These include a questionnaire and temperature check prior to entry. 56 single-occupancy units will also be turned into isolation rooms and internal transfers between housing units have ceased.
Currently, 911 inmates are being housed at Al Cannon Detention Center, with nine in isolation “as a precautionary measure,” according to the sheriff’s office.
CCSO confirmed the first coronavirus-positive inmate on April 3. He was screened just days before with negative results, but later became symptomatic. The individual was in the jail for three weeks, the Sheriff’s Office says, on a family court bench warrant. On April 6, a judge ordered him to be released.
Subsequently, 35 other inmates in his housing unit were isolated and monitored. Two who later tested positive slept in the same quarters as the initial patient.
For new positive cases among the jail population, inmates will be quarantined in the medical infirmary. No inmates will be transferred to a hospital, unless a medical expert considers it necessary. Inmates cannot leave the detention center without a court order.
Around the state and country, jails have begun to release some prisoners to decrease their inmate population, which can also drop the chances of community spread in jail. In Greenville County, roughly 85 prisoners charged with non-violent offenses and magistrate level charges were released from the county jail.
In Los Angeles, 1,700 inmates were released from the county jail in late March. All inmates were serving for non-violent crimes and had less than 30 days on their sentences.
As of April 12, 352 federal inmates and 189 Bureau of Prisons staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Ten federal inmates have died.
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