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COVID-19 cases on the rise in the Mecklenburg County detention center

The sheriff's office said it has worked diligently to develop and implement protocols aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the detention center.
Credit: WCNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office is seeing an increase of COVID-19 cases in the Mecklenburg County Detention Center despite efforts to mitigate and control the spread of the coronavirus in the detention center. 

The sheriff's office said it has worked diligently to develop and implement protocols aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the detention center. 

The protocols implemented proved to be very effective and from early March until June 10th there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Mecklenburg County Detention Center, the sheriff's office reports. 

The first confirmed case in the MCDC was an out of state transfer that came to the facility and was exhibiting symptoms; by protocol the resident was medically isolated and tested.

As the state and Mecklenburg County continue to see a rise in the amount of COVID-19 cases MCSO expanded its testing of residents in the MCDC. 

As a result of mass testing in quarantine/isolation housing units, the sheriff's office has seen a corresponding increase in positive cases. 

Sheriff McFadden said: “I care deeply for the residents housed in our detention center and the personnel and service providers that work in this high-risk environment. Since the start of this pandemic, we have worked hard and aggressively in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic even before the rapid spread of the virus in Mecklenburg County. I want to ensure that we keep our detention centers safe and provide the best possible care for our residents. Considering new research showing that many people carrying the coronavirus experience few or no symptoms, I think it’s prudent that we continue to expand the testing of our resident population as a proactive approach in our response to this pandemic.” 

MCSO operates the largest municipal detention center in the state with a population of approximately 1350 residents. There are currently 43 residents that have tested positive for COVID-19. Some tested have shown mild symptoms and others have shown no symptoms at all.

MCSO anticipates that with expanded testing there will be a continued rise in the number of positive cases in the short term of the resident population. 

Additionally, since early March there have been nine detention officers at the MCDC that have tested positive for COVID-19. 

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