Hampshire County jail inmate and staff member test positive for COVID-19

  • Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 4/11/2020 12:55:19 PM

NORTHAMPTON — One inmate at the Hampshire County Jail & House of Correction has tested positive for COVID-19, Hampshire County Sheriff Patrick J. Cahillane said Friday. One staff member has also reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the sheriff.

Cahillane said in a statement that the inmate infected with the novel coronavirus is “doing well and recovering,” and that two other inmates are in quarantine. In a phone interview, Cahillane said the inmate who tested positive is also in quarantine. State and local health and public safety officials have been notified, Cahillane said in the statement, adding that he and his staff “continue to intensify our efforts to manage the situation.”

The staff member reported testing positive, but the sheriff’s department hasn’t yet received formal paperwork, Cahillane said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those in ourcommunities who have fallen ill and we wish them speedy recoveries,” Cahillane said.

The quarantined inmates were living in a 36-cell unit, Cahillane said. Currently, 26 inmates are housed in that unit and each person has been secured in their cell, according to Cahillane.

“We will reassess the situation after further discussions with all necessary parties, and after results of additional screenings have been returned,” Cahillane said.

Cahillane also reported that he was informed Wednesday by an unspecified area police department of the death of a male pretrial detainee who was released by the courts on April 2.

“They described it as an ‘unattended death,’ a common euphemism for a drug overdose,” Cahillane said, although the phrase can also refer to people who succumb to sudden medical events, particularly the elderly, and suicides.

“My heart goes out to his friends and family, and I wish them well during this time of pain and uncertainty,” Cahillane said.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com.
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