TCSO: 5 new COVID-19 cases among employees, 3 in inmate population

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Travis County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday it has five new cases of COVID-19 within its staff, and three within the inmate population at the county jail.

Kristen Dark, the sheriff’s office senior public information officer, put the staff cases in context by saying they are among both sworn officers and civilian employees in the corrections and administration bureaus.

She also said two of the inmate cases were held in isolation, single-occupancy cells, and had bonded out before test results could come back. Dark said those people were notified by medical staff over the phone. The other inmate was in the quarantine unit and was being held on an out-of-county charge. That inmate has since been transferred to that county’s custody, and currently TCSO doesn’t have any inmates in the quarantined-confirmed positive unit, Dark said.

As of Monday, the Travis County Jail housed 1,821 inmates with 24 in quaratine, meaning they are alone and experiencing virus-like symptoms. Dark said about one-third of them have no symptoms but are there because they either refused to answer CDC guideline questions or answered yes to all of them upon intake, according to TCSO.

There are 256 inmates in isolation, which means all newly booked inmates, presumed healthy, are held in single-occupancy cells for 10-14 days before they are put in the jail’s general population, according to TCSO.

So far among TCSO employees, 66 in law enforcement have been tested with 10 positives. Three tests are still pending. In the corrections bureau, 233 have been tested with 42 positives and four pending, and 62 in the administrative bureau have been tested with 10 positives and three pending.

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