LUBBOCK, TX — In a news conference held Thursday afternoon, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office confirmed 25 cases of coronavirus cases within the county jail.
Lubbock County Sheriff, Kelly Rowe said their first confirmed case was reported July 1. The inmate had been in the facility for several months, so staff are not sure how the inmate may have come in contact with the virus.
At this time, 240 inmates have been tested. There are currently 1,300 inmates in the jail as of today. Rowe said inmates are tested if they are showing symptoms of coronavirus or may have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
“If we went in and tested every inmate today–1300 tests go through, whatever cost it takes to do all that. That’s done today,” Rowe said. “We’ve got x number of negative results, x number of positive results, but tomorrow they come in contact with it… what have we achieved by testing? Like I said they have full access to a highly competent medical staff.”
Rowe said at this time, none of the inmates have needed to be hospitalized. The department has initiated phase three of their three-phase plan in response to the coronavirus. Chief Deputy for the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department, Cody Scott, said phase three includes limiting the movement of inmates.
“Try to minimize the movements of the inmates as much as possible so we’ve actually started parts of it several weeks ago with video hearings. Their court proceedings that have to continue regardless so we utilize video for that.”
Additionally, six employees have tested positive for the virus. Four have recovered and the remaining two are under quarantine. The employees who tested positive were not working within the detention center.
Scott said they are recommending inmates wear their masks when they are outside of their cells.