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More than 40 inmates, staff at Nelson County Jail test positive for COVID-19

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 — Under the leadership of Nelson County Jailer Buck Snellen, the Nelson County Jail has avoided a serious COVID-19 outbreak since the pandemic began earlier this year.

Until now.

According to Judge Executive Dean Watts, an inmate who was recently released from the jail tested positive for COVID-19 four days after his release.

On Saturday, Aug. 29th, health officials began conducting COVID-19 testing at the jail.

Of those initial tests, 45 of 70 individuals tested positive for COVID-19, including nine jail employees. Of those who tested positive, the majority are asymptomatic, Watts said, meaning they tested positive for COVID have no symptoms of the virus or very minor symptoms.

One jail employee is currently hospitalized for treatment of the virus.

Additional COVID-19 testing is expected at the jail, Watts said.

According to Watts, Snellen has told him that he and his staff at the jail have been following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines issued for jails and correctional facilities.

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