LINCOLN–(News Release Sept. 17)–The Lancaster County Department of Corrections reports that currently 12 cases of COVID-19 have been identified within the general jail population.
There have been 12 positive cases identified within the general population in the past 36 hours. At this time, 6 housing units are involved. Jail administration believes that the virus is contained within those 6 housing units, but more testing will be conducted to ensure the health of both inmates and staff. It is unknown how the virus got into the general population at the jail. Current procedures involve medical screenings for inmates and staff and all inmates and staff are required to wear masks inside the facility.
Due to the discovery of these positive cases, the jail went into modified lockdown to minimize potential exposures. Inmates in the impacted housing areas are let out in small groups to use the phone and shower. Contact visitation and volunteer services will be suspended until further notice. Personal video visitation will be limited in the housing units on lockdown status.
Inmates are screened and held in quarantine for 10 days and released into the general population only if they are symptom free. The 12 inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19 are isolating in the jail’s infirmary and have not required hospitalization.
The jail staff is currently equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment and has worked courageously and tirelessly to provide care to those in custody throughout the ongoing pandemic. The jail’s pandemic plan lays out clear procedures for appropriate medical care of inmates with the minimum amount of exposure to jail staff or other inmates. The Lancaster County Department of Corrections has licensed professional medical personnel contracted and available in the facility.
As an integral part of the criminal justice system, the Lancaster County Department of Corrections provides community safety through secure, legal, and compassionate adult detention. We achieve this through the recruitment and development of professional staff members who provide services which promote personal growth and reduce recidivism of those in our charge.