More COVID-19 cases reported at sheriff’s department

MGN Online

The Cameron County Sheriff’s Office reported an additional 12 positive COVID-19 cases among its staff of law enforcement officers and civilian employees.

The new cases included nine detention officers and three deputies. “Our numbers now stand at 31 Detention Officers, 7 Deputies, 7 civilian staff with one Detention Officer fully recovered,” wrote the department in a Facebook post Monday night.

Positive cases among the department’s staff have been steadily rising as county numbers skyrocket. On Friday, the office reported that nine detention officers tested positive. One sheriff’s deputy received a positive test result, as well as two civilian staff who tested positive on Thursday.

“Although these numbers appear high, please keep in mind that we have well over 500 employees at the Sheriff’s Office. We are also fortunate that we have had no inmate tests positive as of yet. Our cleaning efforts continue at all facilities and we are strictly continuing our adherence to CDC guidelines,” wrote the department in an update on Monday.

The Sheriff’s Office has been contacted for information regarding how many inmates have been quarantined or are undergoing testing inside the county’s four jails. The department confirmed there were no positive cases among detainees in a post on Monday night.

“Our medical staff is preparing to continue COVID-19 testing for inmates tomorrow morning. We have answered some questions to family members inquiring about their loved ones in our custody. However, because of HIPAA laws in effect, medical information pertaining to inmates is not released to anyone from the public. Inmates will receive the results of their tests and they can then release that information to their loved ones.”

According to numbers published by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, nearly 4,500 inmates are under quarantine at jail facilities statewide. Of that number, 589 inmates have active, positive COVID-19 cases and there are 594 tests pending.

Six inmates in Texas jails are being treated offsite for COVID-19, while the commission confirmed five deaths caused by the virus. Across the state, 219 detention officers have tested positive, while 208 are quarantined pending test results.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com