After 6 recent positive coronavirus tests, Virginia Beach jail will test all inmates, staff

by San Eli News

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Following several new positive coronavirus cases among its staff and inmates, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office will do thorough testing and add new precautions to prevent additional spread.

The sheriff’s office said four deputies and two inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus since Oct. 16. Two of the deputies were assigned to correctional operations, and the other two were court security.

While the deputies have all been cleared to return to work, the two inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center are still active cases and remain quarantined in individual cells at the jail.

“While this is still a low infection rate – less than 1% of the VBSO’s 414 deputies and less than 1% of the Correctional Centers 1,102 inmates – the Sheriff’s Office is taking additional steps to contain the coronavirus and protect the health and safety of the inmates, deputies, civilian staff and public,” the department wrote in a news release Monday.

Additional precautions include mass testing, reducing traffic at the facility and canceling some programs.

All inmates, deputies and civilians will be tested for the coronavirus, as well as some contractors. Testing done by the VBSO Medical staff and Virginia Department of Health started Wednesday morning and should be finished by the end of the week.

All inmates who test positive will be able to call and notify their family. They can also sign a release that allows jail medical staff to communication with certain friends and family.

The jail also will not be open to anyone except employees. Volunteers will not be allowed to visit.

For now, inmates will not be transferred to or from the city courthouse or other jurisdictions. Inmates will appear in court by video when possible, the release said.

The weekender program is canceled, and delayed confinement reporting is postponed until at least Nov. 30.

Any people scheduled to report to the jail before Nov. 30 will be given a new date to report after Nov. 30.

The jail will continue with ongoing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Those have been in place since March 6 and include:

Reducing the inmate population by 240 inmates (18% of the population)Following a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all new admissions to the jailRestricting inmate movement between housing units at the jailRequiring daily health screenings and masks for all staffThe sheriff’s office also has a running COVID-19 page where it reports past and active COVID-19 cases.

Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office COVID-19 updates
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