Two VBSO deputies test positive for COVID-19
As of today, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office has had two deputies test positive for COVID-19 (out of 469 total appointees). One has already recovered and been cleared by a physician and Occupational Health to return to work. The other remains on leave. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the VBSO will not be providing any additional information about these individuals, including their work assignment.
No one at the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office has been hospitalized because of COVID-19.
The Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office Internal Safety Officer are investigating these individuals’ direct contacts so that they can take appropriate steps to ensure their health and safety. This includes any contacts at work, at home and in the community.
To date, one Virginia Beach Correctional Center inmate has been tested for COVID-19 and those test results were negative.
The VBSO has already implemented mandatory wellness screenings of all appointees (sworn and civilian) and contractors before reporting to work each day, which include taking their temperature and answering questions regarding symptoms. All appointees and contractors are also required to wear face masks (cloth or surgical) any time they are within six feet of another person (staff, inmate or public) at work. They have been provided with personal protective equipment and have access to hand sanitizer throughout the Virginia Beach Correctional Center and Courthouse. All appointees have been advised to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding hand washing, social distancing, etc.
The VBSO implemented a 24/7 cleaning program for the Correctional Center in mid-March.
Inmates have also been provided with CDC guidance on hand washing and other steps to protect themselves from infection. All new admissions are being screened for symptoms and quarantined for 14 days prior to entering general population.
“This is an unprecedented public health pandemic. While I had hoped that the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office would be spared from this illness, I knew that was probably impossible, especially as the coronavirus has spread,” said Sheriff Ken Stolle. “We have taken every precaution to reduce the risk of contamination to the inmates and our appointees while on the job and have been ahead of the CDC’s guidelines every step of the way. I am relieved that one of our appointees has already defeated the coronavirus and I pray for a speedy and full recovery for the other.”
For additional information about what the VBSO is doing to combat COVID-19, visit vbso.net/coronavirus.
A video statement from Sheriff Stolle is available on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/ZnrqQEDcMJY.