MONTICELLO – The first Sullivan County Jail inmate to test positive for COVID-19 has been identified, Sheriff Michael Schiff said. The case, identified late Monday, resulted in the jail being placed in lockdown, restricting all internal movement.
The jail currently has 78 inmates housed there.
“We are working with the state Commission of Corrections, Sullivan County Public Health and our County’s Emergency Management team to mitigate the spread of the virus,” said the sheriff. Jail administration quarantined the infected inmate and began testing of the other inmates that had contact in the previous two weeks.
“Fortunately, contact tracing is a lot easier in this type of setting”, said Schiff. Twenty test samples were taken by jail medical staff from inmates on Tuesday and transported to the state’s Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany for analysis. Results are expected within 24 hours. “Samples will be taken from the remaining inmates on Wednesday, so we know exactly what we are dealing with”, said the sheriff.
The Sullivan County Jail suspended visitation in March and currently requires both inmates and staff to wear masks. The jail has a cleaning and disinfecting protocol that takes place on each of the three shifts. Two staff members tested positive in early April and have since been cleared. Two additional staff members are currently quarantined after they tested positive.
Inmates are currently held at the old jail on Bushnell Avenue in Monticello. While the Patrol and Civil Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office moved to the new facility in March, the Jail Division was unable to complete the training of staff and transfer of inmates due to the corona virus outbreak.