Lake County jail COVID-19 outbreak grows

Lake County jail officials said Friday that 48 inmates and 11 correctional officers have tested positive for COVID-19 since last weekend.

The numbers have grown since Monday, when jail officials said 14 inmates and seven correctional officers had tested positive for the virus.

Everyone who has tested positive this week has had relatively mild or no symptoms, Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.

One inmate who tested positive for COVID-19 this week was taken to a hospital, but Covelli said the hospitalization was mainly precautionary because the inmate has underlying health conditions.

Officials have temporarily suspended the jail’s work release program, Covelli said.

Earlier in the week, officials implemented several new mitigation protocols, including cancellation of all inmate programming, keeping inmates within their assigned units except when approved by command staff, and limiting professional visits to unit visiting booths, rather than face to face.

The new protocols are in addition to long-standing measures at the jail, such as rapid testing for all new inmates, who are then placed on a 10-day hold before moving to the general population; a medical segregation area for inmates with mild symptoms; requiring inmates to eat in their cells and wear a mask when outside their cells; and regular testing of inmates and jail staff.

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