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“We’re very mindful of them” : More than 10 inmates test positive for COVID-19 at the Kentucky River Regional Jail

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Positive cases of COVID-19 continue to impact communities across the United States.

In Perry County, the Kentucky River Regional Jail staff are facing an issue within their 135 bed facility.

“We’re a little overcrowded at the moment,” said Jail Administrator Lonnie Brewer. “I have about 240 inmates.”

In addition to this overflow issue, staff face another issue. They said 16 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

“This is a number that’s greater than what we had in the past. Because most of it’s been two or three and kind of spread out. This is the first time we’ve had this many since the spring,” Brewer said.

Jail Officials are currently monitoring the situation closely and working to mitigate risk.

“If they’re in a cell, that they have been exposed to or an inmate tests positive, we don’t move the positive inmate out,” said Brewer. “We treat everyone in the cell. So every inmate that’s in a cell that has a positive case, they’re getting treated as if they had COVID, even if they did test negative we still do.”

He added that vaccines are an option.

“Through our healthcare provider Quantum, in the spring we started offering vaccines and we did it a couple of times and we’re due to have it offered again,” he said.

They are offered to not only the inmates, but those who work in the building.

“We encourage our inmates to take it and our staffing here, over the vast majority have had the vaccine also,” said Brewer. “So we try to get everyone here to take the vaccine.”

Jail Officials said they are wanting families and friends to know they are addressing possible concerns.

“It’s very concerning and we do everything in our power to make sure every inmate is treated and that we keep an eye out that we know is positive and the ones that are not positive, we’re very mindful of them,” said Brewer. “It’s just one of those things that this is our new normal.”

Brewer said those who are concerned and have questions can call the jail at 606-436-4032.

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