NEWS RELEASE: As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise in our valley, the health and safety of our staff and those individuals in our care remain a top priority for the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office (RCSO). Due to this, a Point Prevalence Survey was conducted this week, as per the recommendations of the Virginia Department of Health(VDH). This entailed the administering of a nasal swab(PCR) test for COVID-19 to 166 staff members, including contracted employees. Of these, 14 individuals (12 staff and 2 contract employees)tested positive.
On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, the inmate population also received their nasal swab testing for COVID-19. Out of the 427 inmates that were tested, 53 individuals tested positive for the virus. The department is still working with VDH on obtaining the vaccine to administer to the inmate population in order to make those arrangements as soon as possible. The staff of the RCSO, as noted in a media release on January 13, 2021, have already begun to receive the first dose of the vaccine.
This aggressive testing approach will assist in identifying asymptomatic individuals, and therefore help minimize the spread of COVID-19 within the facility. Additionally, the information obtained from this proactive testing measure will help us further develop and modify our comprehensive plan to protect our inmates and staff accordingly.
The RCSO continues to work closely with the VDH, and routinely receives and implements the guidance provided on the most effective ways to manage and mitigate exposure within the correctional facility. We will continue to conduct routine PCR testing of everyone in the facility, until such time as there are no positive test results, or when it is considered safe to discontinue.
As of January 28, 2021, a total of 55 staff members and 81inmates have tested positive for COVID-19since the beginning of this pandemic. As with previous releases of COVID-19 test results of staff and inmates, there will be no names or specifics of medical conditions released due to legal mandates on medical privacy.
For COVID-19 specific questions regarding the Roanoke City Jail, please call (540) 853-1761Monday through Friday 8:00am –4:30pm. You may also submit a question through our website at roanokeva.gov/sheriff.