A weekend arrest led to the first COVID-19 positive inmate at the Franklin County Jail, said Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards.


The inmate was screened through a COVID-19 questionnaire upon arrival at the jail. During this process, it was determined the inmate had symptoms related to the virus and as a result was tested by the Franklin County Health Department.


Due to COVID-19, all new inmates at the jail are placed in quarantine cells, away from the general population, typically for 14 days as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Richards said.


"If/when an inmate shows symptoms, they are tested and kept isolated from all other inmates until test results are received," Richards said.


Corrections staff takes the necessary precautions and uses proper personal protective equipment when in close contact with quarantined inmates, Richards said.


"The number of staff who have contact with them is limited," he said. "In order to protect all staff and inmates throughout the jail, staff members wear masks when contacting any inmate in the facility."


All sheriff’s office personnel who were involved in the arrest and or detention of this inmate are strictly adhering to guidelines provided by the Franklin County Health Department, Richards said. The inmate has been released from the jail on bond and is being isolated at a private residence, in compliance with orders from the health department.