Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail staffer tests positive for the coronavirus

Through a partnership between William & Mary’s School of Education and the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail (pictured here), the students designed and delivered a 10-week counseling curriculum focused on empowering and motivating the women to find a path toward a healthier life. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Erin Zagursky)
Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Erin Zagursky)

A staff member at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail recently tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is the jail’s first positive case of the virus.

“Like many places of employment, including grocery stores and other public safety agencies, VPRJ has one positive case of COVID-19 among our staff,” Sara Mahayni, spokeswoman for VPRJ, wrote in an email. “That individual has sought medical treatment and is currently in quarantine at home.”

Mahayni said there are currently no positive cases among the jail’s inmate population.

“We are monitoring the COVID-19 Pandemic daily and will continue to do everything necessary to protect the health and safety of our staff and inmate population,” she said.

It’s unclear when the individual tested positive, when VPRJ was notified, what the staff member’s position is and why the jail did not inform the public about the positive case.

WYDaily reached out to Mahayni for further comment Monday. She sent the following statement attributed to Col. Roy C. Witham, jail superintendent, in an email:

“The Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail has received notification that a jail employee has tested positive for Covid-19. That employee is now following the guidance of their physician and the Peninsula Health District, and is currently isolating at home; I am happy to report the employee is doing well.”

“Immediately upon receiving confirmation of a positive case of Covid-19, I informed the Peninsula Health District, and, as I have since the beginning of this pandemic, will continue to implement their guidance as we move forward, including the use of masks by employees, daily temperature checks, and the consistent cleaning and sanitation procedures we have implemented throughout the facility. The Peninsula Health District is satisfied with the precautions and procedures we have implemented.”

“We remain committed to the health and safety of our employees, and the inmates in our custody and care. As always, additional updates will be made available through our website at, and on our Facebook page at


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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