Employee at Shelby County jail tests positive for COVID-19

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — An employee of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office who regularly works with people coming into the jail in downtown Memphis has tested positive for COVID-19.

The sheriff’s office announced the test result Monday afternoon. The employee who tested positive for the coronavirus interacts with detainees at 201 Poplar.

“It doesn’t really surprise me,” Shelby County Commissioner Mark Billingsley said. “I think we’re at a point now where a lot of us know someone that’s been infected.”

The employee is being self-quarantined at home.

No detainee at 201 Poplar has tested positive for coronavirus.

Local leaders are hoping the health of low-risk detainees will be considered as the sheriff’s office moves forward.

“I do think every effort is being made to release people with very minor offenses that might be waiting for bail, or the elderly for example,” Billingsley said.

A sheriff’s office spokesperson said the jail has a strict screening process for anyone entering the jail. Anyone who is at-risk of having coronavirus is denied entry.

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