Officials try to stop COVID-19 spread at Cook County Jail as 38 detainees have tested positive


CHICAGO – Officials announced a plan Friday after the amount of detainees inside Cook County Jail with COVID-19 rose to 38.

With only two cases on Monday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Sheriff Tom Dart are concerned at the rate of the spread.

Officials are still waiting on 123 tests to come back. Non-violent offenders will be released as soon as possible, officials said. Bonds may also be granted to those who are deemed unhealthy or too poor to post bail, according to Cook County Jail.

“I want to assure the public that everyone, everyone leaving the jail will be screened and given a temperature check to make sure they are not currently exhibiting any COVID-19 related symptoms,” Preckwinkle said.

In addition to being checked for COVID-19 symptoms, detainees will receive more services to make sure they aren’t thrown on the streets.

A total of 595 inmates have been released from March 23 through March 26, according to the sheriff’s office.

They could not confirm how many of them were released due to the expedited bond review hearings this week.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said they are following CDC protocol and keeping detainees six feet apart during van transports.

Jail staff recently cut down on visitation and began qurantining new arrestees for seven days before they were sent to the general population.

A boot camp was recently reopened and turned into a hospital. Four correctional officers have also tested positive.


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