5 employees and 79 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kenosha County

Jail generic

KENOSHA, Wis. Recent testing by the Wisconsin National Guard showed a group of Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department employees and several inmates are positive for COVID-19.

The Kenosha County Division of Health recently requested all 250 sheriff employees and 420 inmates be tested.

On Thursday, Sergeant Chris Hannah said five employees and 79 inmates tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

According to the Kenosha County Division of Health, 370 residents have tested positive for the virus. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 11 people have died from it in Kenosha County.

Hannah said the testing was done proactively to help slow the spread of the virus within the county’s two correctional facilities.

“The confined areas at the Kenosha County Jail and Kenosha County Detention Center present challenges when it comes to mitigation and elimination of the spread of illness or disease and COVID-19 is no exception,” Hannah wrote in a release.

The sheriff’s department said it is taking several steps to slow the spread of the virus including:

  • The department is working with other law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of people being brought into the jail.
  • Face-to-face conferences between defendants, attorneys, and support staff were shifted from personal meetings in the same room to phone conferences or meetings through glass partitions using phones.
  • People who are newly housed at the jail are being housed in a separate area.
  • Eliminated all unnecessary inmate movement.
  • A medical isolation dorm has been created for inmates that are symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19.
  • Inmates are being provided with masks.
  • Corrections staff are required to wear personal protective equipment to protect themselves and our inmate population from the spread of COVID-19.
  • Preventive cleaning within each facility continues throughout the day using medical-grade disinfectants.
  • Electronic monitoring was increased to allow eligible inmates to be released from jail to limit the inmate population.