Number of COVID-19 Cases Among Bexar County Jail Inmates Rises to Eight

click to enlarge COURTESY BEXAR COUNTY
Courtesy Bexar County
Six more inmates at the Bexar County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19, raising the number there who have been diagnosed with the disease to eight, according to a KSAT news report.

Officials with the sheriff's office are tracing how each contracted the ailment, and University Health System staff are screening all inmates via daily temperature checks, according to the station. All inmates who test positive are removed from the general population.

In addition to the inmates, a UHS nurse working at the jail as well as city employees including 14 deputies, two civilian employees and one county maintenance worker have also tested positive for COVID-19, KSAT also reports.

In an interview with the Current on Monday, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff called the initial jail diagnoses a "troubling sign."

"We have about 1,000 people working there as guards, and they go in and out of there every day," Wolff said. "The danger is that if those people pick up an infection there, they go home and spread it to the community."

The new cases come as Texas halts the intake of county jail inmates into its prison system to limit contagion. Gov. Greg Abbott is also fighting a court battle to preserve an executive order that stops judges from releasing certain inmates without paying bail.

Wolff said those actions by state officials hurt the county both "on the front end and back end."

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