By Rick Sallinger

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Even at half of normal capacity, the coronavirus has made its presence known inside the Jefferson County Jail. That’s where there are 131 cases up from 57 a couple of weeks ago, with 90% of them asymptomatic. Nine staff members have also tested positive.

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Caroline Duran’s husband James is among those inside with COVID-19.

“I’m worried for my husband, my children are worried and we are not just worried for my husband, we are worried for all the people in Jefferson County,” she said.

Duran adds that her husband had a fever of 101.5 and may have exposed other inmates. The fever has subsided.

“There’s no social distancing. The guys are allowed to go close to each other,” she added.

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That’s what inmates who reached out to CBS4 by phone confirmed. Brandon Moore said he is in a pod of 60 people with COVID-19.

“We all live stacked three bunks high. I mean, I sleep within 6 feet of two other people,” said Moore.

Each inmate who enters the jail is isolated for up to 14 days. They are given a mask, education on social distancing and on their fifth day, they are given a COVID-19 test. If the test comes back positive, they are quarantined.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Division Chief Rob Reardon said, “It’s a constant battle to keep up with them to say, ‘Hey, wear your mask, keep your social distancing.’”

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He explained those inmates who test positive are placed together in a pod. Only two inmates have been hospitalized. There have been no deaths at the jail.

Rick Sallinger