Coronavirus Updates

Enhanced COVID testing returns to South Central Regional Jail

Coronavirus in West Virginia

This 2020 electron microscope made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention image shows the spherical coronavirus particles from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. Released by the CDC on Friday, July 31, 2020, a Georgia summer camp hit by a coronavirus outbreak took many precautions, but didn’t make campers wear masks and put too many children in the same cabin, according to a government report released Friday. (C.S. Goldsmith, A. Tamin/CDC via AP)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – In response to four new cases, the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation has resumed enhanced COVID-19 testing at the South Central Regional Jail.

According to a statement sent to 13 News, the entire Kanawha County facility is on lockdown to eliminate movement within the jail. The five total positive inmates are in two housing units. Two others housed in these units were tested after showing symptoms. Their results are pending.

The remaining inmates in these units are being tested. None of these inmates is complaining of symptoms. All inmates in both units are screened for symptoms daily and their temperatures are checked twice per day.

Officials say DCR’s focus is also on the ongoing response at the Southern Regional Jail. The Raleigh County facility has one active inmate and nine active employee cases.

The positive inmate remains asymptomatic, and all employees are self-quarantining at home. Tests are pending for 10 inmates and 19 staff as part of the contact tracing process. None report symptoms.

According to DCR officials, almost 58% of the total population at both facilities are pretrial defendants.

“To address the risk of COVID-19 within correctional facilities, the W.Va. Supreme Court called on magistrates and circuit judges in late March to consider personal recognizance or reduced bond for ‘any pre-trial individuals who do not constitute a public safety risk,” officials said. “Each jail now has more inmates than when that guidance was issued.”

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