Sheriff's Office Confirms SullivanTimes Report on COVID Outbreak
Updated: Jan 7
Sullivan County Jail Administrator Hal Smith today told the County Legislature's Public Safety & Law Enforcement Committee that 22 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 but that all are currently "symptom fee."
It was the first public comment by any County official about the outbreak since The SullivanTimes reported exclusively about an outbreak at the facility.
With a current inmate population of 96, the number of inmates who tested positive represents just under 23 percent of that total.
Smith added that a company that the jail contracts with recommended that it's not a good idea to confine COVID positive inmates to their cells for extended periods of time.
(The SullivanTimes had reported that inmates who tested positive were placed into areas akin to solitary confinement).
That's why , he said, inmates are now being permitted outside their cells for four to seven hours per day. He added that inmates have been treated with vitamin packs recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and that only two or three individuals displayed symptoms for a few days.
Regarding staffing in the jail, Smith said that the division remains short of 20 correction officers. And, because only 43 people signed up for a civil service test on December 11, he said that is a very small window of applicants to choose from.