A Rock County Jail captain said Monday she believes the string of COVID-19 cases that emerged last week has been “contained” and no more inmates have tested positive.
Jail Cmdr. Erik Chellevold said Friday that the jail had four inmates who tested positive within the previous two days.
On Monday, jail Capt. Kim Litsheim said that figure remained at four after rounds of testing over the weekend and late last week.
“Any exposure we had was contained very well,” she said, “which is the best I could have hoped for.”
One inmate was taken to a hospital for “preventative” treatment, but the inmate later returned to the jail, Litsheim said.
Anyone who was in contact with the inmates who tested positive is tested twice to account for a potential incubation period, she said.
The jail is still offering tests to new inmates, something it started doing regularly during and after an outbreak spread through the facility in December and January.
The latest positive tests came before Saturday’s vaccination effort at the jail. Litsheim said Monday that no inmate was unable to get the vaccine because of a potential exposure to someone who tested positive.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who are currently sick with COVID-19 should wait to receive vaccines until they have “recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation.” The same goes for those who have no symptoms but could be infected.
With help from HealthNet of Rock County, the jail administered 85 vaccines Saturday. All but about seven or so went to inmates, and others were able to get vaccines only after all inmates who wanted a shot received it, Litsheim said.
HealthNet acquired 150 vaccines for the jail, and the nonprofit was able to keep the remaining doses for other vaccination efforts.
Litsheim said she “would be more than happy” to work with HealthNet again in the future.
Ian Hedges, CEO of HealthNet, said Friday that his organization would be able to provide technical assistance to the jail to help it become a vaccine provider.
Litsheim was “impressed” by the number of volunteers who came to help administer vaccines Saturday.
“I was very happy,” Litsheim said. “The compassion they had for our jail population was amazing.”