Norfolk City Jail inmate tests positive for coronavirus

Posted at 1:36 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 16:30:24-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A Norfolk City Jail inmate is in medical isolation in good condition after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a release from the jail.

The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia Department of Health are closely monitoring the inmate, and the individual’s floor was placed on a 14-day quarantine at the onset of the inmate’s symptoms.

Additionally, the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Sentara Healthcare to expedite testing of all inmates on that floor as well as the jail staff working in the area.

"The health and safety of those in our care and of our staff is our top priority. As the coronavirus began spreading into the Commonwealth, it became clear that it would not be a matter of 'if' COVID-19 would come into the Norfolk City Jail, but rather a matter of 'when,'" Sheriff Joe Baron said. "While this news is disheartening, it is not surprising. Our fight against COVID-19 is an aggressive one. We have decreased the jail population to record lows, have enacted numerous proactive safety measures, and today we will test more than 60 people to identify anyone who may be an asymptomatic spreader of COVID-19. We must all do our part to slow the spread of this virus."

The Norfolk Sheriff's Office said that it is taking precautionary measures, including lowering the jail population, screening all new inmates and stopping non-essential personnel from entering the jail.

Additionally, Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron is now requiring COVID-19 testing of all Norfolk Sheriff’s Office employees and all inmates residing in the Norfolk City Jail.