WALTON COUNTY, Fla— Daily medical rounds at the Walton County Jail revealed fevers among several inmates and staff are now working to identify any possible cases of COVID-19, officials wrote in a news release.
“Thursday a male inmate was identified as having a temperature higher than our alert threshold which is 100.4 degrees F,” officials wrote. “This prompted temperature testing of the entire inmate population – 393 total. As a result of these screenings, another 17 male inmates were discovered with fevers above our threshold. All are being housed in two separate pods.”
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office in coordination with the Walton County Health Department immediately administered 29 COVID-19 tests on inmates located in impacted housing areas. The results of these tests should be available next week.
“We anticipated and prepared for this scenario,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “We are ready and have set our plan in motion to make sure inmates and staff are cared for.”
He added that the agency is working to stop the spread.
“It is important to acknowledge that our daily morning medical sick call practices allowed us to discover inmates who were potentially symptomatic,” said Adkinson. “This early detection mitigates any potential spread through isolation and testing.”
All inmates have been issued protective face coverings and staff are taking additional precautions as well while working in the housing areas, officials added.
“Our emphasis continues to be on prevention and eliminating transmission through education, screening of all new intakes, isolation of suspected cases, and relentless cleaning and sanitation of high touch areas,” said Sheriff Adkinson.
At this time there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported for either staff or inmates at the jail.