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Press Release

HCSO Jail Inmates Test Positive for COVID-19

07/23/2020

Hamilton County, TN – As of July 23, 2020 (3) corrections employees and (6) inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Hamilton County Jail. Several of the inmates who tested positive were identified as inmate workers who work in the jail kitchen. Out of an abundance of caution, once the inmates were diagnosed, all evening meals were disposed of prior to being served and new inmate kitchen workers were assigned in order to prevent any contamination or spread of the COVID virus.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division continues to work with Health Department personnel and our contracted medical services provider [Erlanger Medical Center] to track all inmates and personnel who may have come into contact with those diagnosed with COVID-19. “My staff and I will continue to work diligently with Health Department officials and Erlanger personnel to ensure we are providing a safe, healthy environment for our employees and the inmates we are charged to protect. This includes wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and following established medical best practices and guidelines to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19,” stated HCSO Deputy Chief of Corrections Joe Fowler.

Employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are at home under isolation orders from the Health Department. Inmates who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have also been quarantined in a separate area of the jail and are receiving medical treatment and review by Erlanger, our contracted medical services provider.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond stated, “I would like to reassure the public and those who may have family or friends incarcerated in the jail our personnel are going to great lengths to follow CDC guidelines and sanitize the facility on a consistent basis. While we have continued to take precautions based on CDC and local health department guidelines, we anticipated there would be more positive cases within our facility and we are prepared to treat those diagnosed with COVID-19 as we continue to move forward.”

The Hamilton County Jail has a capacity of (505) beds and there are (372) inmates are being housed in the facility.



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