125 Henrico jail inmates, 6 staff members test positive for COVID-19

Posted at 11:39 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 18:17:42-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- More than 100 inmates and 6 staff members at Henrico Jail West and East have tested positive for COVID-19, Henrico Sheriff Alisa Gregory announced Wednesday afternoon.

The positive tests come after the facilities expanded testing, offering it to all inmates and staff.

Gregory says 645 inmates were tested for COVID-19 and 125 tested positive. She says 393 inmates refused to be tested.
Additionally, 270 staff members were tested and 6 tested positive.

Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas said the vast majority of positive inmates are asymptomatic, only eight of the inmates have exhibited mild symptoms and there has been no hospitalizations.

"We continue to test new committals to our facility and we will continue to do so on a daily basis," said Gregory.

She says the department will also continue to test every inmate and staff member at least on a weekly basis and as needed.

"We are doing everything in our power to contain this outbreak," she added.

Gregory says the positive inmates are being housed separately from COVID-19 negative inmates. The group of inmates who refused testing are being quarantined in a third group separate from positive and negative inmates.

The briefing comes after Gregory said last week that 43 inmates tested positive for the virus following mass testing after three other inmates were diagnosed with the virus. County officials also said last week they were awaiting test results for more than 100 other staff and contractors.

There are nearly 600 inmates incarcerated at Henrico Jail West and nearly 540 inmates at Henrico Jail East.

The Henrico Sheriff's Office said the following safety measures have been in place since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Screening all inmates, jail staff and contractors for potential symptoms before they enter the facilities
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitization of dayrooms and other common areas
  • Providing face coverings to all inmates
  • Isolating as a group all new inmates whose screenings indicate possible exposure
  • Isolating as a group all new inmates for at least 14 days before introducing them into the general population.