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

In partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 20 tested 1,532 inmates, deputies, civilians and contractors for COVID-19. All of the tests have been processed and 7 staff members and 83 inmates tested positive. That is a reduction in positive inmate cases from the Nov. 9 testing, during which 104 inmates tested positive. At the recommendation of the VDH, everyone will be retested on Dec. 4.

Of the inmates who tested positive, 42 are new cases and 41 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 7 staff members who tested positive - 1 civilian and 6 deputies who work in the jail - have been instructed to quarantine at home and seek medical attention, if needed, until cleared by a physician and City of Virginia Beach Occupational Health to return to work.

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

As an additional precaution, the VBSO is extending the cancellation of the Weekender Program (serving of all non-consecutive sentences) until Jan. 1, 2021.

"I am encouraged to report that we are trending down in positive inmate cases of COVID-19," said Sheriff Ken Stolle. "I think we are on the downhill side of this outbreak, but we are not out of the woods yet. We will continue working with the Virginia Department of Health to reduce the spread and protect the health and safety of everyone who lives and works inside the Virginia Beach Correctional Center. We care about everyone here - deputies and inmates alike - and we will do everything we can to defeat this outbreak."

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.