Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office announces COVID-19 test results
In partnership with the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia National Guard, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 18 tested 1,526 inmates, deputies, civilians and contractors for COVID-19. All of the tests have been processed and 16 staff members and 59 inmates have tested positive. That is approximately 3% of the VBSO’s 500 staff members and approximately 5% of the jail’s 1,090 inmates. At the recommendation of the VDH, everyone will be tested again in the near future. The retesting date is to-be-determined.
Of the inmates who tested positive, 54 are new positives (5 had previously tested positive). Those inmates have been notified by medical staff and placed in quarantine, where they are being closely monitored and provided any needed medical care. They have also been given an opportunity to notify their friends and family. Medical privacy laws prohibit the Sheriff’s Office and its medical contractor, MEDIKO, from releasing an inmate’s medical information, including their COVID-19 status.
The staff members who tested positive – 13 deputies and 3 civilians – were directed to quarantine at home and seek medical attention, if needed, until cleared by a physician to return to work. Of the staff members who tested positive, 13 are assigned to the jail and 3 work outside the Correctional Center.
This is the VBSO’s sixth mass testing (point prevalence study) since June. The results of those tests and weekly testing updates are posted at vbso.net/coronavirus.
The Sheriff’s Office implemented COVID-19 protocols in March and, in light of the recent positive cases, has been taking additional steps to contain the coronavirus and protect the health and safety of the inmates, deputies, civilian staff and public. Those steps are detailed at vbso.net/coronavirus.
“Our inmate cases of COVID-19 are holding fairly steady from our last testing two weeks ago and are down from the peak of 83 cases on Nov. 20; however, I am concerned about our increase in staff cases and am reevaluating our procedures and protocols to see what more we can do to protect everyone living and working inside the Virginia Beach Correctional Center,” said Sheriff Ken Stolle. “As cases continue to rise in the community, we face a continued uphill battle, but we are working every day to contain the spread of COVID-19. I commend my deputies for their dedication to serving this community and ensuring we have sufficient staffing to continue to execute our mission both inside and outside the jail.”
Any questions or requests for additional information from the news media may be directed to: Kathy Hieatt, Public Information Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.570.9123.