City Jail announces spike in Covid cases, 43 inmates presumed positive

By: - October 16, 2020 5:27 pm

(Image: CDC)

virusAt least 43 inmates at the City Jail are presumed positive for Covid-19, the City of Las Vegas announced late Friday afternoon. 

The entire unit, which had 91 inmates, has been quarantined as the city waits for results. 

The first inmate, the city notes, initially tested negative at the jail and was then placed with the general population. The release doesn’t provide the date the person was booked and tested.

He was then transferred to Clark County Detention Center where he tested positive for Covid-19. Again, the release doesn’t confirm the date of the transfer and confirmed positive results.

All 43 inmates in the unit are “under evaluation by medication staff, with their symptoms being monitored.”

According to the statement, all people arrested and booked at the jail are tested for Covid-19, and those displaying symptoms are put in isolation. 

In an interview in May, city spokesman David Riggleman said tests were only administered when symptoms manifest. It’s not clear when the protocol was updated. 

The release notes that in the future the city would extend its quarantine period to prevent a future outbreak. 

At the start of the pandemic, legal groups and local advocates admonished the lack of transparency among correctional facilities, both local jails and the Nevada Department of Corrections. 

Prior to the spike, there had been 12 reported positive cases in the jail.

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.