Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office announces further reduction in COVID-19 cases

In partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 4 tested 1,518 inmates, deputies, civilian staff and contractors for COVID-19. All of the tests have been processed and 2 staff members and 45 inmates tested positive. That is a 46% reduction in positive inmate cases from the last testing on Nov. 20, during which 83 inmates tested positive. It is a 71% reduction in staff positive cases from the Nov. 20 testing, during with 7 staff members tested positive. At the recommendation of the VDH, everyone will be retested later this month.

Of the inmates who tested positive, 32 are new cases and 13 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.

The 2 staff members who tested positive – 1 deputy and 1 civilian contractor who both work in the jail - have been instructed to quarantine at home and seek medical attention, if needed, until cleared by a physician to return to work.

This was the VBSO's fifth mass testing (point prevalence study), with the others taking place June 24-25, Oct. 28-30, Nov. 9 and Nov. 20. 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 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.

"Despite spikes in COVID-19 cases in the community, we have seen a dramatic reduction in cases here at the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Ken Stolle. “I am optimistic that we will defeat this outbreak and I am proud of our deputies and medical staff who have been working tirelessly every day to combat COVID-19. I am also grateful to the Virginia Department of Health for its leadership and guidance as we’ve worked to safeguard the health and safety of everyone entrusted to our care, both inmates and staff.”

Any questions or requests for additional information from the news media should be directed to: Kathy Hieatt, Public Information Officer: khieatt@vbso.net or 757.570.9123.