Despite precautions, inmates at the Guadalupe County Jail continue to test positive for COVID-19, but those same precautions appear to be keeping the numbers low.
Since the pandemic began, 11 inmates and about the same number of his staff have tested positive for the virus and three currently show as active cases, Guadalupe County Sheriff Arnold Zwicke said Monday.
“Currently, we have two inmates and one officer that are positive right now,” he said.
He confirmed a total of 11 inmates had tested positive and said among employees at the sheriff’s office, county dispatch and in the jail, about the same number had tested positive.
At the end of June, the sheriff said four inmates had been tested and three of them were diagnosed with COVID-19. Staff has continued to keep an eye on the issue and take steps to keep positive cases low.
Inmates are quarantined for 14 days when they arrive a the facility, Zwicke said. Then, if they show no symptoms, they are released into general population, he said.
Coronavirus tests are administered on an as-needed basis, Zwicke said.
“Anytime that the medical people feel there’ a need for a test,” one is provided, he said. “The inmates when they come to the jail, they’re automatically quarantined whether they’re showing symptoms or not.”
Jail administrators notify the county emergency management coordinator whenever they receive positive test results, Zwicke said.
Guadalupe County Emergency Management Coordinator Patrick Pinder said he gets information from jail personnel and also from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“The state’s website is showing — the state’s two weeks behind — it shows they have two” positive cases at the jail, Pinder said.
DSHS provides him with numbers of positive and probable cases for anyone who lives in the county, Pinder said.
“So, if they’re housed at a facility in Guadalupe County, we have that in there,” he said. “If there was a case we had at the juvenile facility, which we don’t have any there, they would be included.”
No one at the jail has died due to COVID-19, Zwicke said. Steps taken have helped keep positive cases low and recoveries steady.
“At the moment, we’re good,” Zwicke said.