Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office to test all staff, inmates after 4 deputies, 2 inmates test positive for COVID-19

Posted at 5:27 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 17:53:46-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office says they are testing all staff and inmates for COVID-19 and adding more preventive measures after four deputies and two inmates tested positive recently.

Since October 16, four deputies – two assigned to Correctional Operations and two assigned to Court Security – and two inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

All four deputies have been cleared by a physician to return to work and there are currently no active cases of COVID-19 among VBSO staff, according to officials.

The two inmates who tested positive remain active cases and are quarantined in individual cells in the jail.

Despite the infection rate being low, VBSO says they are taking additional steps to contain the coronavirus including:

  • Mass testing of all inmates, deputies and civilians, as well as some contractors. Testing began this morning and is expected to be completed by the end of the week. It is being conducted by the VBSO Medical staff and Virginia Department of Health.
  • Closing the Correctional Center to all non-employees, including volunteers. Sworn and civilian staff and contractors are still working, as usual, to ensure the safety and security of the facility and provide for the feeding and medical care of the inmate population.
  • Ceasing transfers of inmates to and from the Virginia Beach Courthouse and other jurisdictions. Staff will facilitate inmate court appearances by video whenever possible.
  • Canceling the Weekender Program and postponing delayed confinement reporting until at least Nov. 30. Anyone scheduled to report before that date will be issued a new reporting date and will not be booked into the Correctional Center until after Nov. 30.

On March 6, the sheriff's office began reducing the inmate population by 240 inmates, implementing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all new admissions to the jail, restricting inmate movement between housing units within the Correctional Center, and requiring daily health screenings and masks for all staff.

Any inmate who tests positive for COVID-19 is given an opportunity to call and notify his or her family and may sign a release form authorizing the Correctional Center’s Medical staff to discuss their medical information with designated friends and family.

The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office’s full COVID-19 testing data is available here and is updated weekly.

“We take this pandemic seriously and are doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of our staff, the inmates and the public. As COVID-19 continues to spread, we are doubling down on the safety efforts that we implemented nearly eight months ago,” said Sheriff Ken Stolle. “While we have only had a handful of positive cases of COVID-19, we understand this is a highly contagious illness, especially in a confined setting, so we are taking swift action to combat its spread within the jail and all areas of our operation."