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Concerns rise over COVID spike in Big Bend jails

With the increase, some facilities, including the Gadsden County Jail, are altering their protocols to try to reduce the spread.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 6:20 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As the omicron variant of coronavirus created spikes in cases across the country, jails in the Big Bend are once again facing challenges as they try to keep inmates safe.

WCTV has heard from people worried about their loved ones in those jails, and the numbers are showing safety protocols, cleaning and vaccinating inmates are not keeping the latest variant out of local correctional facilities.

Below, you’ll find recent case numbers from jails in the region:

  • Right now, leading the region with the most positive cases is Leon County with 169 inmates testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Gadsden County is reporting nine positive cases, after an outbreak earlier this month.
  • Jefferson County said right now they only have two positive cases and nine total throughout the entire pandemic.
  • Wakulla County did not provide numbers to WCTV.

With the increase, some facilities, including the Gadsden County Jail, are altering their protocols to try to reduce the spread.

“We are sanitizing our jail on a daily basis, we are doing everything we can to keep the inmates in our custody as safe as we possibly can. We know the virus is out there and we are being proactive,” said Gadsden County Jail Administrator Robert Barkley.

One measure for reducing COVID spread in jails also includes not arresting people for non-violent crimes. People charged with those crimes will instead be given a notice to appear in court.

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