WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Weld County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that 23 inmates at the jail tested positive for COVID-19. All 23 inmates who tested positive are currently asymptomatic.
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Last week, the jail announced it would test all inmates in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. So far, jail officials have tested 392 of the jail’s 468 inmates.
Officials with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office said testing is ongoing. So far, the jail is only testing inmates who have been in the facility for more than 14 days, in accordance with recommendations by the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment.
A Weld County inmate died due to COVID-19 on April 1, two days after his release from the jail. A sheriff’s department spokesperson said the jail was notified that the man was COVID-19 positive on April 2, and said they received no reports of him exhibiting symptoms while in jail.READ MORE: Colorado Weather: Hurricane Force Winds Batter Front Range
The spokesperson told CBS4 they had not yet seen the results of an autopsy from another inmate who died while in custody on May 20. It is unknown if that inmate had COVID-19.
In May, a federal judge ordered Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams to provide special protections to medically vulnerable inmates at the jail. Civil rights attorneys and the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of seven inmates at the facility.
The lawsuit claimed the sheriff’s department violated the inmates’ constitutional rights by failing to identify and provide heightened protections for those who are medically vulnerable. The order required the jail to monitor medically vulnerable inmates for signs of illness.MORE NEWS: Westminster Police: Suspect Fires At Officer Following Crash, Dies At Hospital
All inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 were separated from the rest of the jail population. Officials said the entire facility will be on quarantine for the next 14 days.