The Tarrant County Jail is experiencing an increase of COVID-19 cases as the numbers continue rising in Tarrant County communities, authorities said Friday.
Forty inmates had tested positive for the virus as of Friday, meaning 40 housing units at the jail are quarantined, said Jennifer Gabbert, public information officer with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, in a Friday news release.
About 4,300 inmates were housed in the Tarrant County Jail on Friday.
Tarrant County Public Health reported 590 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths on Friday.
The county has reported a total of 269,138 COVID-19 cases, including 3,615 deaths and an estimated 259,939 recoveries.
The inmates were being cared by a John Peter Smith Hospital medical staff, Gabbert said.
“Our team members have been battling this illness for over a year and will continue to work hard to stave off the impact and prevent the spread of it inside our facilities,” Gabbert said.
Gabbert said the increase was being caused by individuals coming into the facilities from the outside after arrests, probation violations or as a result of a guilty verdict after the conclusion of a trial.
She pointed out that Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office team members will continue to wear masks and other protective gear, frequently disinfect the facilities, minimize movement of inmates between facilities, increase court hearings and halt outside volunteer programs.
Gabbert said team members will continue to follow recommended health guidelines set forth by the Tarrant County Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and JPS medical staff.
She noted that when inmates exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, they are tested and removed from the housing location and that location immediately becomes “quarantined.” If they test positive, the housing unit remains on quarantine under health and safety recommended guidelines for 10 days.
Gabbert said the term quarantine does not mean that every inmate in that location is symptomatic or has even been exposed to COVID-19.