OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Eighty-two inmates and one employee have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Weber County Jail. There have been no new positive tests since Wednesday’s report.

This COVID-19 outbreak began after an out-of-state inmate was brought to the Weber County Jail, but the public information officer, Joshua Marigoni said community spread also happened, meaning the virus is also right here in Weber County.

Clean-up in the Weber County Jail has become more frequent.

“Over 99% of our positives in our jail are asymptomatic,” said Marigoni.

One hundred and twenty-five inmates and 19 staff members have been tested for COVID-19 since the outbreak.

Lt. Marigoni said the jails prepared for an outbreak for months, they’ve been following CDC guidelines and working with local and state agencies.

“We’re going above and beyond on giving cleaning supplies, giving hygiene supplies, every inmate has been issued a mask upon intake and every inmate has for about a month or more,”

ABC4 News is getting emails of complaints from inmates who say they have not been able to social distance or get access to cleaning products or masks, but Lt. Marigoni said that’s not true.

“Any jail setting is super difficult to do because of the constraints of the building itself and the detention setting,” said Marigoni.

He said mask wearing is not something they can force inmates to do.

“How much force do I use to make someone to put on a mask?”

Marigoni said to prevent crowding, the sheriff’s office is working with the county attorney and judges to release some inmates early.

“The community is of the upmost importance so we’re not going to be releasing violent felons,” he said.

Marigoni said most of the negative coronavirus cases will be re-tested, to make sure there are no false negatives.

Mass testing will continue to happen and Marigoni says educational information about coronavirus will be given to inmates as they are released.

Jordan Verdadeiro
She is a multilingual multimedia journalist. Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English. Jordan was born and raised in New Jersey and comes from a Chilean and Portuguese background and hopes to tap into the diverse communities that range in northern Utah.