MCSO: 62 employees, 254 jail occupants test positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, Jan. 5, announced they are facing challenges posed by COVID-19 cases. In recent weeks, COVID cases and quarantines have increased significantly among jail occupants and employees. 

The MCSO says they currently have 62 employees and 254 jail occupants who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Consistent with protocols in place and to ensure the safety of everyone in the jail, the sheriff's office is conducting a facility-wide round of testing between now and Friday. If asymptomatic COVID-19 cases are detected through this round of testing, the sheriff's office says they will ensure all necessary isolation, tracing, and quarantine protocols are enacted accordingly.

The MCSO says due to staffing shortages, operational changes at the House of Corrections, like the jail, include reducing the amount of recreational time for occupants. 

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell R. Lucas, said:

“As we continue to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 virus, I thank the staff at our jail, our medical provider, Wellpath, our medical and public health partners at Milwaukee County, particularly Dr. Ben Weston and others for helping us ensure we provide the highest possible care to persons in our care, adhere to highest standards of our profession and deliver the high level of service that the people of Milwaukee County deserve.“

According to a news release, the MCSO says it continues to make all decisions related to COVID-19 in close consultation with medical and public health partners, including Dr. Ben Weston, Milwaukee County’s Chief Health Policy Advisor, and the medical professionals at Wellpath, the Milwaukee County Jail’s contracted medical provider.

"We are committed to ensuring a safe and humane environment for all persons entrusted to our care. We are equally committed to ensuring a safe work environment for our officers," the release says in part. 

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