An inmate of the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility tested positive on Tuesday for COVID-19. The inmate, currently housed in medical isolation at the jail, has shown no signs or symptoms of the virus and will continue to be monitored and provided treatment as may be necessary. The male inmate, in the 30 to 40 age group, came into jail custody earlier this month from outside the state of Arizona.
“Our protocol for all new intake prisoners involves a quarantine process wherein they are monitored and assessed for symptoms daily while housed in a restrictive housing unit. This process allows us an opportunity to prevent the introduction of the coronavirus to our existing inmate population,” said Captain Don Bischoff. “We recently added to our process a testing component that would allow more efficient use of the available bed space for new prisoners who remain in custody after their initial court hearing.”
This is the first lab confirmed positive case involving any of our inmates or jail staff since the COVID-19 emergency began. “Since early March, inmates and staff have gone to great lengths to prevent the introduction of the virus to the jail. Those steps include a screening process following CDC guidelines for all jail staff and new arrests as well as any person entering the secure area of the facility,” said Bischoff. “This inmate was tested as part of the quarantine protocol and has not presented with any signs or symptoms of being infected with the coronavirus since coming into our custody,” said Bischoff.
Jail Administration is taking the necessary precautions as we respond to this development by identifying any staff and perhaps other inmates who may have been in close contact with the infected inmate. There are potentially as many as ten people who are considered a “close contact” case. Those people consist of jail medical and custody staff as well as a few other inmates.
“In accordance with all legal protocols, the laboratory who conducted the test, reported the positive findings to the Arizona Department of Health Services as well as the Mohave County Department of Public Health. Jail administration is working closely with the Mohave County Department of Public Health as well as the inmate healthcare provider to ensure the safety of our jail staff, the inmates, and our community,” said Sheriff Doug Schuster.