Nearly 70% of inmates at a jail in central Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.
The Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover, some 20 miles north of Richmond, announced in a press release Wednesday that 124 of 178 inmates who have been tested for COVID-19 have received positive results. Moreover, 20 of 129 staff members who were tested also had positive results.
The jail has a total population of 380 inmates, who will now all be tested for COVID-19, according to a report by Richmond ABC affiliate WRIC.
The jail said the vast majority of those infected were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. To date, there have been no hospitalizations or deaths.
“Immediately upon receiving offender results on Monday afternoon, affected individuals were identified and isolated from the general population,” the Pamunkey Regional Jail said in the statement. “In an abundance of caution, the jail facility remains on lockdown, pending additional offender testing in collaboration with health department officials.”
The jail said it was informed of the first pair of positive COVID-19 cases among its staff on Aug. 20 — two employees who were immediately instructed to self-isolate. The third positive case was a jail contractor on Aug. 28, followed by a fourth employee on Aug. 31. Each case was individually reported to the local health department.
The first inmate to test positive for COVID-19 was on Sept. 3, after being isolated with cold-like symptoms within the facility for over a week. The local health department then arranged for all jail staff to be tested and performed testing among inmates “in areas where deemed necessary,” according to jail officials.
“All affected employees were placed on emergency paid leave, and all offenders continue to be appropriately treated by medical staff, who provide 24/7 on-site patient care,” the jail said.