The number of COVID-19 cases in the York County Detention Center has increased to 47, authorities said Monday.
The increase is from the results of a facility-wide testing. Testing kits were provided by the S.C. Department of Environmental Control after the first positive case of COVID-19 was discovered Jan. 18.
“The inmates who have tested positive have only shown either mild symptoms or are asymptomatic for COVID-19. No inmates are currently hospitalized,” PIO Trent Faris said. “The 47 inmates have been placed in a separate housing unit and are being monitored by medical staff. “
Jail staff members are conducting a deep cleaning of the entire facility and continue to increase daily sanitization standards of the housing units as normal, Faris said.
“We are thankful for the responsiveness by SCDHEC to coordinate with us and provide us with materials and guidance. The testing kits provided were extremely helpful to contain the spread of the virus,” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson in a press release. “We continue to follow SCDHEC and CDC guidance in preventing further positive tests in order to maintain the safest environment possible for both staff and inmates.”
There are currently 327 total inmates. Those who were potentially exposed to the 47 have also been separated out of an abundance of caution.
Out of 27 YCDC employees currently on preventative quarantine, only three have tested positive for COVID-19. If a jail employee feels they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they are placed on a 14-day quarantine. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 22 detention officers have tested positive.
“When an individual enters the facility, they are immediately given a face mask prior to entering the booking area and are asked a series of COVID-19 screening questions,” Faris said. “Prior to being accepted into the facility, if a person shows any signs of COVID-19 infection, they are immediately taken to a hospital for evaluation. Once an inmate is moved out of the booking process, he or she is separated in a housing unit for a 14-day medical evaluation. During that time, the inmates are monitored for COVID-19 symptoms or any other medical issues before being moved into the general population. Once in general population, inmates are required to wear masks outside of their cells and maintain physical distancing from other inmates.”