Sheriff: 38 inmates at Gregg County North Jail test positive for COVID-19

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GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office updated the community on events regarding COVID-19 in jail facilities.

Mass testing for the virus was conducted for all staff and inmates at the north and south jail facilities on May 19. A total of 685 tests were administered.

Results showed that all inmates housed at the south facility tested negative for COVID-19, but 38 inmates housed at the north jail facility tested positive for the virus.

One jail staff member tested positive, but there was no information regarding which facility they work at. The Sheriff’s Office also mentioned all the inmates and the staff member are asymptomatic.

All positive inmates are being closely monitored and the staff member has been placed on leave pending a negative test result. Previous cases have been held in isolation at the Marvin A. Smith facility through a joint operation with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday, Smith County officials announced that mass testing of all facilities resulted in 10 inmates and 17 employees testing positive. There are still pending results with 153 inmates in quarantine after coming in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

“We continue to be blessed with a much appreciated outpouring of support from our community, we ask that all members of our community to continue to send thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by COVID-19 all across our great nation,” wrote the Sheriff’s Office.

On May 18, Gregg County Commissioner’s voted to transfer more than $1M from the general fund to take care of unexpected expenses due to the coronavirus.

This includes purchasing PPE for county jail employees as well as necessary over time. The county has also added a temporary position to the county health department, called the Pandemic Bio-Terrorism Position.

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