Posted Sunday, March 22nd, 2020
OFFICER IN ISOLATION – JAIL UNDERGOES CLEANING AND ULTRAVIOLET CLEANSING
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that one officer at the Morris County Correctional Facility has tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in self-isolation for the officer and special cleaning and ultraviolet light cleansing was done in portions of the facility.
Sheriff James M. Gannon also has reiterated tough standards for staff at the jail to monitor their health, with orders to stay at home if they feel ill.
“It is increasingly clear that law enforcement, which must have some personal contact with the public, is at a greater risk of contracting the virus,’’ said Sheriff Gannon. “The Morris County Sheriff’s Office will continue to do everything within its power to mitigate the spread of the virus and do all that is possible to keep staff and inmates safe in these unprecedented times.’’
On Monday, March 16, employees at the county jail were required to begin taking their own body temperatures prior to signing in to work, as a health precaution regarding the virus. On Friday, March 20, one officer reported a slight fever, though it was lower than the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guideline for maximum body temperature regarding COVID-19.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections Administration asked the employee to go home, self-quarantine and notify a physician. On the same day, this officer was tested for the COVID-19 virus.
Today, Sunday, March 22, the officer was declared positive for COVID-19, the officer remains in self-quarantine.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer, wishing for a speedy and full recovery,’’ said Sheriff Gannon.
In response to the positive test, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group and the Morris County Office of Emergency Management performed an ultraviolet cleaning of various office areas at the Correctional Facility, to further enhance stringent cleaning procedures already in place.
Also, the following steps are being taken at the correctional facility:
“While we would all like to be with our families during this time of national crisis, the men and woman of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office continue to work and do their jobs in a professional manner,’’ said Sheriff Gannon. Their efforts, dedication, and patience are greatly appreciated as we all work together through this difficult time.’’
Although the jail’s current population of 205 inmates have access to medical services 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, they also are being pre-screened for fever upon admission to the facility, and whenever they are moved within the jail, explained Morris County Undersheriff Alan Robinson.
Additionally, temperature checks are conducted daily on all inmates in all new admission housing units. Should an inmate show signs such as a fever over 100.4, or shortness of breath, dry cough, and other signs of possible illness, they are medically evaluated and if a medical necessity exists, placed into isolation until a medical examination can take place.