VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office announced that 16 staff members and 59 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 following a mass testing event December 18.
According to the sheriff's office, 1,526 inmates, deputies, civilians and contractors were tested. The number of positive cases represents 3 percent of the sheriff's office's 500 staff members and approximately 5 percent of the jail's 1,090 inmates.
The sheriff's office said at the recommendation of the Virginia Department of Health, everyone will be tested again in the near future.
Of the inmates who tested positive, 54 are new positives and five had previously tested positive. All of the inmates have been notified by medical staff and placed in quarantine.
The three civilians and 13 deputies who tested positive were directed to quarantine at home until cleared by a physician to return to work.
This is the sheriff's office's sixth mass testing since June, the office said.
“Our inmate cases of COVID-19 are holding fairly steady from our last testing two weeks ago and are down from the peak of 83 cases on Nov. 20; however, I am concerned about our increase in staff cases and am reevaluating our procedures and protocols to see what more we can do to protect everyone living and working inside the Virginia Beach Correctional Center,” said Sheriff Ken Stolle. “As cases continue to rise in the community, we face a continued uphill battle, but we are working every day to contain the spread of COVID-19. I commend my deputies for their dedication to serving this community and ensuring we have sufficient staffing to continue to execute our mission both inside and outside the jail.”