McDONOUGH — Henry County Sheriff Reginald B. Scandrett has implemented a new COVID-19 protocol designed to better protect inmates and employees at the Henry County Jail.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, there were two COVID-19 related employee deaths in January, shortly after Scandrett took office, which prompted the sheriff to review the protocol that was in place.
Scandrett took steps to ensure that the jail is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and identified changes needed at the jail to ensure safety.
Among those steps is testing of an arrestee immediately upon arrival at the jail and quarantining the arrestee for 14 days.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, these requirements revealed in mid-February that 23 inmates tested positive for the virus. The rate of positivity prompted the sheriff to require that all inmates be tested on Feb. 23, resulting in 60 positive cases.
Since that time, further adjustments have been made and the number of positive cases has decreased to 48. Inmates who have tested positive have been quarantined and are receiving treatment from medical personnel inside the jail.
Inmates are now being tested weekly and employees are tested bi-weekly.
Sanitization regiments were also implemented by hiring a company certified in COVID-19 mitigation for the initial cleaning and to train Sheriff’s Office personnel on cleaning strategies.
Scandrett said he believes that these regulations will help in preventing future infections.
“One of the first priorities of this office is to ensure the safety and well-being of the jail employees and the inmates we house,” said Scandrett.
Scandrett said the new jail protocols follow the most recent recommendations from the CDC. Due to ongoing changes in medical science and technological advances, there will be periodic reviews of the COVID-19 policy and procedures.