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Salt Lake County Jail prepares for potential coronavirus cases

Posted at 6:26 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 20:26:32-04

One of the main functions of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office is to oversee the county jail and its 2,000+ inmates.

Combine that with hundreds of staff members and guards, all enclosed in a very confined space, and you begin to see the potential for COVID-19 or any virus to spread very quickly.

Sheriff Rosie Rivera says there are no individuals displaying any symptoms of coronavirus right now.

She goes on to say that all this week she and her command staff are taking as many precautions as possible to prevent an outbreak happening.

That means extra emphasis on cleaning employee work spaces along with the inmate facilities.

She’s also working with local law enforcement and is in the process of restricting prisoners from being booked in if they have a temperature of 100.4 or higher.

In that situation, she is asking officers to take the person to a medical facility first to be checked out.

The sheriff has also suspended internal programs for the inmates and the jail will not be allowing volunteers to come in and meet with or work with inmates — that includes religious and education volunteers.

Sheriff Rivera says they have also revised a contingency plan in the event jail employees wind up getting sick and can’t come to work.

Her message, which is pretty common right now: If you’re sick, don’t come to work.

But with something as critical as the jail, she’s also asking folks to not take advantage of that.

All of this is very fluid and could change at any time.