ANDERSON — One inmate in the Madison County Jail has been tested for the COVID-19 and four employees at the jail have been quarantined by their doctors after showing symptoms of the virus, Sheriff Scott Mellinger said.
A fifth employee is not working at the jail because they are caring for a loved one who is showing COVID-19 symptoms.
Mellinger said employees with symptoms were not eligible for COVID-19 testing because they did not have all three symptoms of the virus.
He said an inmate was tested four days ago for the virus due to his symptoms, an abnormal x-ray and because he was running a fever, but the jail has not received his test results.
The man was released and told by doctors to self-quarantine, Mellinger said.
At the time of the inmate’s testing, Mellinger said, there were 12 other inmates complaining of symptoms, but they were not running fevers.
Mellinger said a cell block at the jail has been designated as a quarantined area of the jail. Inmates with at least one verified symptom are housed in that area for a period of time.
New inmates are also kept away from offenders already incarcerated to minimize exposure to anyone who might have the virus before being jailed, he said.
On Monday, visits to the jail by the public were discontinued with the exception of video conferencing meetings with attorneys or other authorities.
Mellinger said a small room is available with a glass partition between the inmate and a person who requires the signing of a document while incarcerated.
Requests to release inmates nearing completion of a sentencing being served at the jail and some offenders are also being made, he said.
“They are not letting out anyone with a violent record,” Mellinger said. “They are not too different from the pretrial release mandate.”
Mellinger commended his staff and deputies for their service during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I just appreciate the job all of our staff is doing,” he said.