8 inmates test positive for COVID-19 at Durham County jail

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham County officials announced Sunday that they would test everyone for COVID-19 at the county detention facility after eight inmates had positive test results.

“When we first became aware of a suspected case of coronavirus we put our testing protocol in place, working with the Durham County Health Department  and our medical provider, Wellpath, to make an assessment,” Durham County Sheriff Birkhead said in a news release.

Testing is starting immediately for all inmates and staff, the news release said.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

The news release said sheriff’s office staffers are working with court officials to “determine the impact, if any, upon court proceedings scheduled for this upcoming week.”

The Durham County Health Department has started contact tracing and anyone with exposure will be contacted, the news release said.

“Our worst fear has come true inside the facility and we are taking immediate and corrective steps to get in front of it,” Birkhead said in the news release.

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