OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Five inmates and one employee at the Weber County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19. Leaders from Weber Co. Sheriff’s Office tell us, an outbreak was something they prepared for months ago.
Walking into the Weber Co. Sheriff’s Office, you have to get your temperature taken because of the outbreak, but you aren’t required to wear a mask yet.
Jessica Archuleta, who was an inmate at the jail, was released Tuesday. She said she heard about the first COVID-19 case last week.
“They addressed us and told us there was a case and then they gave us masks like two or three days later, but the social distancing is like, horrible,” said Archuleta.
Lt. Joshua Marigoni said this started after one person was booked into the county jail complained about a cough.
“But also explained that was a chronic condition that he’d been dealing with for a long time, it didn’t raise any alarms or red flags so that individual was placed into a receiving orientation unit and not an isolation unit,” said Marigoni.
Lt. Marigoni said the inmate count in the jail is currently lower than usual, so isolating infected inmates and vulnerable inmates is possible.
“I think Weber Co. Sheriff’s did good, due to cleaning and making sure our place is clean and distancing towards the infected person and our side of the facility, they did pretty well,” said Archuleta.
The inmates and the employee that are positive are in isolation. Marigoni said over 100 people in the jail have been tested and 12 employee tests came back negative, but COVID-19 entering the facility was inevitable.
“We have a population of people and this virus is affecting populations of people,” said Marigoni.
Marigoni said the department is working closely with McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden for mass testing. All inmates and staff must now wear masks.
Leaders from the Weber Co. Sheriff’s Department are asking for cloth mask donations. If community wishes to donate, contact (801) 778-6600 to make arrangements to drop them off.