Arlington: Safety Precautions Implemented at County Detention Center

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by | March 30, 2020

Arlington, VA – Sheriff Beth Arthur is announcing new safety precautions instituted at the Arlington County Detention Center to help mitigate the spread of and reduce any unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. Changes to our daily operations are necessary to ensure the ongoing safety of those in the Detention Center and the Courthouse, while we continue to provide essential services to the Community.

“COVID-19 has prompted the agency to make significant changes to our operations to ensure the safety of staff, the public, volunteers and inmates,” Sheriff Arthur said. “These changes ensure our facility and essential functions remain in alignment with current recommendations of engaging in social distancing, regular hand washing, self-isolation when exhibiting symptoms of illness and frequently disinfecting objects and surfaces.”

We have created a unit that is strictly for all new individuals that are committed to the jail. These individuals are “quarantined” from the rest of the population for an initial 14 days and checked daily by our Medical Staff. With the Detention Center population being low, we were able to move inmates around, creating the safest environment for those individuals that have been remanded to our custody and for new individuals entering the facility.

In addition to the intake quarantine unit, we have made additional changes to operations over the last two weeks. Some of these changes include:

  • All personal visitation has been canceled, however each inmate is given two free phone calls per week.
  • Volunteers are no longer allowed to enter the facility.
  • Increased cleaning of the Detention Center and Courthouse.
  • Staff regularly wash their hands and inmates are required to wash their hands upon entering and exiting their housing units.
  • Staff are monitored for symptoms of illness and are not permitted inside the Courthouse or Detention Facility when symptomatic.

We are sensitive that those incarcerated have concerns relating to COVID-19 and our medical staff continue to conduct outreach with them to ensure their health and wellbeing, as well as to answer questions. Additionally, nurses check-in with all inmates regularly to monitor them for COVID-19 symptoms and take their temperature.

The Sheriff’s Office is committed to ensuring a safe work environment for both staff and inmates. Policies and procedures continue to be evaluated, in consultation with Arlington County’s Department of Public Health, to ensure compliance with recommendations published by the Centers for Disease Control.

From: Arlington County