Fifty-five cases of coronavirus have been reported at the Madison County Detention Center as of Thursday afternoon.
Out of 380 inmates being housed at the facility in downtown Richmond, 55 tested positive, and one staff member.
According to Deputy Judge Executive Colleen Chaney, all individuals are asymptomatic and quarantined in the jail for 14 days or the event that they are released.
She stated, effective immediately, the jail and their partnering law enforcement agencies (Madison County Sheriff's Office, Richmond and Berea Police Departments, and Kentucky State Police) will transport arrested individuals to the Clark County Detention Center in Winchester.
She and other officials said this is because of incoming arrests — which average about 10 a day — and only medical, food and jail staff have been entering the jail otherwise.
“It is coming from arrests and in stopping the flow of people coming in we are hoping to regain a COVID- free environment,” she said. “...We have worn PPE, and done temperature checks, and we will continue to do so at a higher level than required. But just the nature of a detention center environment creates a situation that you don’t know where they have been or what they have been doing and if they aren’t showing symptoms, it is a challenge much like our health care facilities have seen.”
While navigating a pandemic has created challenges for the center, Jailer Steve Tussey said he is proud of his team.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my team. This pandemic is a challenge in a normal environment but exponentially difficult in a detention center,” he said.