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Mecklenburg Jail Reports 18 COVID-19 Cases On One Floor

090120 Mecklenburg Jail.jpg
David Boraks
Mecklenburg County Jail reports 18 cases of COVID-19 on the sixth floor.

COVID-19 cases are rising at the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. The sheriff's office said 18 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus - all on the sixth floor.

The sheriff's office says most are asymptomatic, though a few have mild symptoms. The prisoners are isolated and being monitored by health care personnel.

The outbreak comes despite the jail's efforts to head off the virus. Everyone who enters the jail is screened for symptoms, given masks and quarantined for 14 days, the sheriff's office said. The jail also is being cleaned and sanitized regularly.

Between 45 and 60 new prisoners arrive daily, some transferred from facilities with less stringent health protocols, according to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office also said it faces a challenge from "residents that aren’t accurately reporting their symptoms in order to avoid extended quarantine/isolation."

Since March, 45 detention officers have tested positive as well. So far, the jail has not seen any hospitalizations or deaths related to COVID-19.

The Mecklenburg County Jail in uptown Charlotte is the largest municipal detention center in the state with about 1,455 residents.

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