Shelby County Jail detainee, 14 sheriff’s office employees test positive for COVID-19

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A person in the custody of the Shelby County Jail has tested positive for COVID-19, along with 14 employees of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff’s office said Monday,

The detainee has been at the jail since early January, and was taken to Regional One after showing signs of the disease late last week.

The person’s name and charges were not revealed, but the sheriff’s office said the person was in jail on numerous criminal charges and had a $599,000 bond.

The detainee has been released from the hospital and is now in quarantine at the jail, officials said. So far, no one else in jail custody has tested positive.

Captain Anthony Buckner with the sheriff’s office says the office took preemptive measures which helped treatment and safety precautions.

“Before the virus had actually entered the United States, we actually identified an area of the jail where we could house 30 detainees should they contract the virus,” Buckner said.

Of the 14 employees who tested positive for COVID-19, 13 are now quarantined at home, the sheriff’s office said. The employees worked in various assignments throughout the agency.

“One employee has actually been cleared to work,” Buckner said. “The other 13 are at home, self-quarantining. They’re doing well by all accounts.”

Two of the cases were previously announced.

Late last month, an employee at 201 Poplar tested positive and was quarantined at home. At the time, county officials said no detainees had tested positive.

No public visitation has been allowed at 201 Poplar, Jail East or at Juvenile Detention since late March.

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