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City of Las Vegas reports spike in COVID-19 cases at city jail

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Posted at 4:51 PM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 01:14:41-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The city of Las Vegas is reporting a spike in coronavirus cases in a unit at the city jail.

Officials in Las Vegas say the jail has been quarantined following 43 presumed positive cases of the coronavirus, with the population in the unit at the time of testing included 91 inmates.

All arrestees entering the jail are tested for COVID-19 and then held in a quarantine area until the test results are known, according to the city.

Those arrestees who display symptoms of the coronavirus are placed in administrative isolation pending further medical evaluation.

However, an inmate who initially tested negative at the city jail was released into the general population and later returned a positive test for the coronavirus when transferred to the Clark County Detention Center.

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Staff at the CCDC notified the city jail of the positive test.

And as a precautionary measure, the unit from where the inmate was housed was placed on quarantine status. During this quarantine period, another inmate began to experience symptoms of COVID-19.

Out of an abundance of caution, the remaining inmate population in that unit was tested for the coronavirus.

Those test results indicated 43 of the 91 were presumed positive and under evaluation by medical staff. Their symptoms are also being monitored, with no inmates currently requiring hospitalization.

Officials with the city say they believe the inmate who tested positive was carrying the virus when booked into the facility but most likely tested negative because the disease had not yet had time to progress fully.

To prevent this from happening in the future, the city is imposing a more extended quarantine period. In addition, the city is looking to increase testing parameters within its entire jail facility.

Before this recent spike, positive tests of COVID-19 in the jail had been very low, with approximately 12 cases, according to the city.

The total jail population is averaging about 500 inmates each day.