Listen to this article.
Dekalb County confirmed today that it has one inmate who tested positive for coronavirus and one Sheriff’s Department employee who tested positive.
A 35-year old male inmate in the DeKalb County Jail is undergoing treatment at Grady Memorial Hospital after he tested positive for the virus during a medical assessment while in custody in the hospital. A 57 year-old male employee whose job has no contact with inmates has also been confirmed as having tested positive for the COVID-19 virus while out on sick leave. The sheriff’s office learned of both medical reports today.
“We were informed of the inmate’s screening results by Grady physicians who were treating the inmate for other medical concerns,” said Sheriff Melody M. Maddox. “Upon notification, we immediately instituted our protocols for identifying and isolating individuals who might have had contact with the inmate since he has been incarcerated here.
“Those precautions include conducting additional medical assessment of other inmates and officers for any symptoms to ensure that anyone who did have contact with the infected inmate is isolated so they can receive the proper medical attention.”
A reverse contact investigation is being conducted to identify other agency employees who had contact with the sheriff’s office employee, who has been out of the office since March 13 on medical leave for other conditions. Potentially exposed employees are being advised to self-quarantine at home and to seek medical assessments from agency health care resources and private physicians.
Beginning yesterday, March 23, anyone entering the sheriff’s office headquarters offices and jail on Memorial Drive and at the courthouse have been undergoing temperature checks at the facility entrances. Access is denied anyone exhibiting a fever — a key symptom of the COVID-19 virus.
“Since before we were faced with this public health emergency, we have followed very stringent protocols for infectious disease containment and control,” Sheriff Maddox says. “In consideration of this new virus, however, we have made adjustments to our response plans in conjunction with and on advice of public health officials.”