More than 50 infected in COVID-19 outbreak at King County Jail

The Associated Press

SEATTLE — A significant COVID-19 outbreak is happening inside the King County Jail, with 19 cases detected on Monday alone.

The outbreak accounts for most of the 46 total cases among the in-custody population at the Seattle facility and inside the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent as of Wednesday, Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention officials told The Seattle Times.

Additionally, seven department employees who work at the Seattle jail have tested positive since March 9, spokesperson Noah Hagland said in a Wednesday email.

Of the most recent cases, one person tested positive during booking while the others were identified after reporting symptoms or through contact and surveillance testing in housing units, Hagland wrote.

People in custody who have tested positive for the virus have been moved to the Kent facility, which has been used to house those exhibiting symptoms and those considered at high risk of contracting the virus.

Jail Health Services plans to administer COVID-19 tests to all others in custody at the Seattle jail this week.

People in custody age 65 and older have received vaccinations, and Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention employees who work in secure detention recently became eligible to get their shots.

Most incarcerated people younger than 65 aren’t eligible to get the vaccine until the end of March, but vaccination clinics are tentatively being planned to start administering doses on April 6, Hagland said in his email.

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