Two inmates at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail tested positive for the coronavirus after “point prevalence” testing last week.
Officials said the Virginia National Guard conducted the testing for both the jail staff and inmates last week.
Point prevalence testing is used by facilities to identify the number or people with a condition at a specific point in time, according to the Virginia Department of Health. This type of testing is a snapshot that identifies who might have been exposed regardless of symptoms.
The two inmates were asymptomatic when they tested positive, jail officials said in a news release. They have been relocated to a quarantine unit, which keeps them separate form the general population.
No jail employees tested positive for the virus. Prior to the point prevalence testing Friday, no inmates had tested positive.
The two will be under quarantine for 14 days during which they will be monitored by the jail’s medical staff, according to the news release.
Jail officials decided to perform point prevalence testing out of “an abundance of caution” and in conjunction with the Virginia Peninsula Health District.
The other inmates housed in the units where the two positave cases were are being monitored closely with twice daily temperature checks, officials said.
“We are continuing to follow guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] as we battle this pandemic,” said Col. Roy Witham, the jail’s superintendent, in the news release. “Our top priority is the safety and security of our inmate population and staff.”
Witham said he had town halls with inmates to inform them directly of their test results.
“We are absolutely committed to providing accurate information to them so that they are aware that we are doing everything within our power to keep them safe,” he said.
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