Recently, a significant number of inmates in Dane County’s Public Safety Building have tested positive for COVID-19. Alarmingly, just weeks earlier the jail only had one COVID-19 positive inmate.
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the Sheriff’s Office reported 16 inmates housed in receiving testing positive. A short time later, a number of inmates in another housing unit began to exhibit mild symptoms, resulting in the entire housing unit being tested. As of Thursday, Nov. 19 at noon, 22 of those inmates have tested positive. At this time, all are either asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms.
Sheriff Mahoney is working diligently with justice partners, requesting they release as many of the COVID-19 positive inmates as possible. For those who need to remain in jail, they will continue to be isolated and will be closely monitored by jail medical staff. If the situation arises where an inmate’s symptoms require hospitalization, they will be transferred to a local hospital.
The current jail design and conditions provide a number of social distancing challenges — highlighting the critical importance of the Jail Consolidation Project moving forward without delay. As of this week, the jail population is at 488 across all three facilities.