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Four Norfolk deputies test positive for coronavirus

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Posted at 3:31 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 15:31:36-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Four Norfolk deputies have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), officials announced Monday.

Three Norfolk Sheriff’s Office deputies are self-isolating at home after testing positive for COVID-19 and a fourth deputy, who has not reported to work for a number of weeks due to an unrelated health matter, has also tested positive.

Two of the three deputies have been isolating at home have been doing so since the onset of symptoms one week ago, officials said.

Mandatory temperature screenings before the start of the third deputy’s shift revealed a low-grade fever last week. That deputy was sent home and has remained out-of-work since then, officials said.

The deputies are in contact with the Virginia Department of Health and will remain at home until cleared to return to work.

The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office said they are working with the Virginia Department of Health, to conduct contact tracing. At this time, no inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

Since early March, the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office has continually ramped up cleaning and sanitation efforts in the jail in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Virginia Department of Health.

These measures include:

• Constant cleaning and sanitation of high-contact areas of the Norfolk City Jail
• Temperature screening of employees before starting their shifts
• Screening of new arrestees before being booked into the jail
• Placing all new admits in a 14-day observation area
• Requiring all jail staff wear masks
• Requiring all jail staff to wear PPE when necessary
• Established a reserve force of deputies
• Limit public access to the jail – such as cancelling visitation and volunteer programs
• Working with consolidated courts, Norfolk Public Defender’s Office and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to reduce jail population