Thirteen more Covid cases at Dartmouth jail in the past week

Jun 5, 2020

Six Bristol County Sheriff's Office staff members and seven county inmates have tested positive for Covid-19 since May 28, according to the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

The new cases bring the total to 40 staff members and 39 county inmates who have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of March, with one federal immigrations detainee also testing positive.

Of the 40 staffers, 27 have recovered and returned to duty and 12 remain away from the facility recovering, the Sheriff’s Office noted in a press release. All of the staff members are expected to be fine and return in the coming weeks, the release stated. One individual resigned after recovering.

Five of the six staff members to test positive since May 28 are corrections officers, while the other is a classification counselor. 

Of the 39 county inmates to test postive, eleven remain in medical isolation and are being monitored by health care professionals and four were released as their sentences ended, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The other 24 inmates have recovered and returned to general population.

The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office had come under scrutiny last month after a violent altercation on May 1 in the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention center that resulted in three detainees being hospitalized and $25,000 worth of damage to the facility.

The altercation was allegedly sparked by a dispute over Covid testing. A federal judge had previously ordered the Sheriff’s Office to test all ICE detainees at the facility after a lawsuit alleging unsafe conditions was filed by Lawyers for Civil Rights on behalf of immigrations detainees.

The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office has since stated that all but eight ICE detainees have been tested for the virus, with eight refusing to be tested. All but one detainee tested negative for Covid-19, the Sheriff’s Office stated.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Sheriff’s Office has instituted new protocols to prevent the spread of the virus within the facility, including mandating wearing of masks for employees and giving masks to inmates and detainees, cleaning and disinfecting the facility every shift, suspending non-essential visitation, and screening all staff and new arriving inmates before they enter the buildings.