Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Winnebago County Jail inmate with COVID-19 in isolation

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – A Winnebago County Jail inmate with COVID-19 is in isolation and precautions to stop the spread of the disease are being taken, Sheriff Gary Caruana said Sunday.

The detainee is a man in his 40s charged with domestic charge and parole violation. He’s been in the facility since March 30 and was tested when he started showing symptoms. He’s now in medical quarantine, away from other inmates.

The sheriff said inmates, including new arrivals, are being screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Those showing symptoms are tested and housed in a medical quarantine pod. Anyone requiring medical attention would be transported to a local hospital.

The jail’s coronavirus protocol also calls for asymptomatic inmates to spend time in quarantine–two weeks–and must be re-screened and cleared before being released to general population.

β€œEven before the virus was detected in Winnebago County, our Corrections staff implemented procedures to keep inmates and officers in the facility safe from the illness,” Sheriff Gary Caruana said in a release. “We continue to follow guidelines from the CDC, IDPH and the Winnebago County Health Department to ensure we take every precaution to keep the virus contained. The health and safety of all the citizens in our community is of the utmost importance and we will do whatever we can to limit the spread of the illness within the jail population, especially to those who are most vulnerable to adverse outcomes.”

All detainees are required to wear a masks when leave their pod and the facility is sanitized several times a day.

“Visitor restrictions have also been in place at the jail for several weeks and will continue to be enforced to limit the spread of the virus,” the sheriff said.

As of Sunday, no other jail detainees have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 313 confirmed cases in Winnebago County. There have been 14 deaths because from complications of the illness.

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