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COVID-19 outbreak in Kingman jail in Arizona

Posted at 8:50 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 11:50:19-05

KINGMAN, ARIZ. (KTNV) — The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office is reporting a COVID outbreak in the Kingman jail.

The Adult Detention facility identified 18 new positive inmates in one housing unit.

Captain Don Bischoff, Jail Commander, said that on Monday several inmates began reporting classic COVID-like symptoms, body aches, headache, loss of taste and smell. This prompted five inmates to be immediately tested using rapid collection test kits which revealed that all were indeed COVID-19 positive.

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The remainder of the inmates in the same housing unit were tested on Tuesday which identified an additional 13 positive cases.

The outbreak resulted in a total of 18 new positive cases.

Bischoff commented that the 13 new positive inmates reported no symptoms at the time of their tests.

All 18 positive inmates were moved to two different housing units and housed under cohort quarantine protocols.

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Since mid-May, 2020, the Adult Detention Facility has partnered with a research laboratory in Flagstaff to conduct COVID-19 PCR testing. Being certified through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, each test, positive or negative, is reported to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and that process alerts Mohave County Public Health as well.

Jail administration submits additional information for each positive inmate case and assists the Mohave County Department of Public health with contact tracing investigations in accordance with ADHS and CDC guidelines.

“I met with the impacted inmates fielding questions and openly discussed the positive test results, what steps jail staff had immediately implemented, and the steps being taken. We will keep them informed as we continue to handle the outbreak”, said Bischoff, adding that the inmates asked appropriate questions and didn’t seem to be too alarmed, many expressing their appreciation for the openness about the situation.

Prior to this outbreak, the jail had only experienced 22 positive inmate cases and just 11 positive staff cases since May 2020. This outbreak brings the new numbers to 40 positive inmate cases and over 1,110 inmates being tested.