Officials are working to contain COVID-19 outbreak among inmates and staff at the Levy County Jail

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 11:35 PM EDT
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BRONSON, Fla. (WCJB) -Complaints of flu-like symptoms at the Levy County Jail on Tuesday, July 6, resulted in staff and inmates testing positive for COVID-19, and that means returning to what life was like when the pandemic first hit.

“We’ve really had to tighten down our restrictions and fall back to our initial CDC protocols,” explained Lieutenant Scott Tummond, the Public Information Officer for the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.

He said that includes mandatory temperature checks and “sanitization, distancing, masks, the whole nine yards.”

Briana Crowder’s finance is in the Levy County Jail, and she said her loved one found out about the spread from staff inside the jail.

“He found out from one of the officers. I don’t remember what name of the officer he found out from. There is a lot of talk in the jail,” explained Crowder.

She said her fiancee witnessed inmates serve each other without masks or gloves even after the outbreak.

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Tummond said more deputies have been out with the virus than inmates that have tested positive. According to the PIO, of the 17 staff members tested, 8 received a positive test result. He said 15 inmates were tested, and only 6 received a positive test result.

“This kind of set us back quite a few steps. We were hoping that we were on the uphill swing of this,” explained Tummond.

With rising concerns about a new variant across the country, Tummond explains they are taking precautions regardless of what strain is inside the jail.

“COVID-19 or COVID-19 Delta variant, it doesn’t matter, we are still going to do what we are required to do to guarantee the safety of those inmates that our in our safety and our officers that have to work with them,” said Tummond.

He said it is unclear how the virus entered the jail and ultimately spread. Staff who tested positive are at home quarantining while inmates are in a single dormitory.

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