Sheriff: 17 Smith County Jail employees, 10 inmates positive for COVID-19; staffing at dire shortage


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith announced on Tuesday during a commissioners court hearing that 17 jail employees and 10 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

Smith also said that there are six inmates that have pending test results and 153 are quarantined due to being in close contact with someone that was positive. There are 17 additional employees in quarantine.

Many inmates that have tested positive have been transferred to the Gregg County Jail to be isolated.

Smith said that he is in a dangerous position in terms of staffing due to how many employees have tested positive or are otherwise quarantined.

He stated to Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran that he may need to contact the Texas Jail Commission to see what steps can be taken to deal with the crisis.

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