Sheriff plans to keep inmates healthy during pandemic

Multi-level plans are in place at Union County jail

By Caitlan Butler
El Dorado News-Times

Sheriff Ricky Roberts said multi-level plans are in place to keep inmates at the Union County Detention Facility healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is nothing new to us other than that the virus is new,” he said. “As far as the flu, if you get one person in here with the flu, it runs through the jail pretty quick. … So we’re treating it like a bad case of the flu.”

Roberts said since Friday, the full-time nurses on the jail’s staff have regularly checked inmates’ temperatures and for the common symptoms of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, which include coughing, shortness of breath and fever.

He said so far, no inmates have exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus or even the seasonal flu. To keep it that way, he has limited outside contact for inmates and has asked other local law enforcement agencies to consider whether suspected criminals can be cited out instead of arrested for minor, non-violent crimes.

“We’ve asked them to help during this time,” he said. “Instead of bringing them to jail, if they could be released on citations to appear in court for any non-violent felonies.” READ MORE.

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