Inmate Count Rises
Corrections officials at Cumberland County Jail are grappling with a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases among the incarcerated. After the initial two positive cases detected last week, a swift escalation ensued, with 15 more inmates testing positive over the weekend. As of Wednesday, Sheriff Kevin Joyce confirmed that the count stands at 17 inmates still returning positive tests.
To mitigate further spread, proactive measures are in play. "We opened a small pod and relocated all the COVID-positive inmates to that area. Medical personnel are consistently testing those from the originating pod," Joyce detailed.
The jail's staff hasn't been spared either. Joyce mentioned an employee who has tested positive and is currently recuperating. The origin of the infection, whether inside the jail's premises or outside, remains uncertain. However, in a bit of reassuring news, Joyce emphasized that none of the detected cases have exhibited severe symptoms.
Maine's Broader COVID Landscape
The recent outbreak at the Cumberland County Jail adds to Maine's overall COVID-19 statistics. According to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the state has witnessed over 232,566 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic. This has tragically resulted in more than 3,100 deaths and close to 7,800 hospitalizations.
Continued Vigilance Essential in Confined Spaces
Given their intrinsic nature of close confinement, jails, and other such facilities remain hotspots for potential outbreaks. The surge in cases at Cumberland County Jail underscores the relentless challenges posed by the pandemic and highlights the paramount importance of ongoing safety precautions.
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