The number of Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees diagnosed with coronavirus has reached 247, including 220 who work in the jail.
There are currently 402 Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies, detention officers and support staff on quarantine for possible COVID-19 exposure.
As of Monday, 314 previously quarantined employees have returned to duty, including 81 who had tested positive for the virus. Nine Sheriff’s Office employees are currently hospitalized because of the virus.
The Sheriff’s Office is working with Harris County Public Health to identify co-workers, inmates, and members of the public who may have had close contact with the diagnosed employees so they can take necessary precautions, including quarantine and testing for those with symptoms.
An aggressive testing program that has now reached 1,092 inmates – including those who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but ar e believed to have been exposed to the virus – has helped medical staff identify 593 inmates who are positive for coronavirus.
This number includes 157 inmates who previously tested positive for coronavirus and have now recovered, and another 157 inmates who tested positive but have no symptoms.
It is important to note that an increase in the number of positive test results among inmates is not indicative of an increase in the number of sick inmates. Rather, the increase in diagnosed cases is the result of expanded testing as the Sheriff’s Office attempts to identify asymptomatic inmates who carry the virus so they can be isolated from others.
The number of inmates who have tested negative for coronavirus now stands at 470. Twenty-nine inmates are awaiting test results.