81 Dane County Jail residents test positive for COVID-19 after Wis. National Guard helps with testing

MADISON, Wis. — Eighty-one residents of the Dane County Jail tested positive for COVID-19 after the Wisconsin National Guard helped test all residents earlier this week, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Earlier this week, between seven and 15 guard members were brought in to help test the nearly 600 jail residents, Sheriff Kalvin Barrett told News 3 Now. Test results were received by Wednesday.

On Monday, the sheriff’s office said 54 residents were COVID-positive, down from the approximately 90 cases reported the week before.

Jail protocols call for residents who test positive to be removed from the general population and housed with other COVID-positive residents for 10 days.

RELATED: ‘Scared for my son’: COVID cases spike in Dane Co. Jail

Barrett said the jail’s “outdated and inhumane” facilities have made it difficult to isolate residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. In some cases, solitary confinement cells are being used for COVID-positive residents, he said.

An abnormally high resident population this winter is adding stress on the jail, he added.

RELATED: Wisconsin prison system suspends in-person visits as Omicron infections rise

Earlier Thursday, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections suspended in-person jail visits due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.