TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County officials on Monday announced that an inmate in the Baltimore County Department of Corrections has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is an African-American male in their 50s who is not currently presenting symptoms and is in quarantine.
The Baltimore County Department of Corrections is coordinating with the Department of Health to lead a contact trace investigation to determine whether any other staff or inmates may have had contact with the individual who tested positive.
“Ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of both our professional and dedicated staff and all those at our detention center continues to be our top priority as we navigate this global pandemic,” said Baltimore County Department of Corrections Director Gail M. Watts. “We will continue to follow the recommendations of federal, state, and local health officials and aggressively adopt public health best practices as we respond to this rapidly evolving crisis.”
Officials have already implemented a number of actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Following CDC guidelines for deep-cleaning and sanitizing areas and equipment, and daily disinfecting and cleaning “high-touch” areas throughout the facility.
- Appropriate use of personal protective equipment and daily “healthy check-ins” for all employees to ensure anyone with symptoms of illness is sent home.
- Minimizing all unnecessary movement except for critical efforts, including medical treatment and bail reviews.
- Suspending inmate family and friend visitation and authorizing limited free calling time for inmates.
- Providing increased education such as, showing COVID-19 informational videos in processing and housing units, placing posters designed by the CDC in all inmate housing areas, and posting increased hand-washing signage.
The impacted individual will remain in the medical unit with continued monitoring for the recommended CDC period. Out of an abundance of caution, the individual’s housing unit is under a quarantine protocol.
The Baltimore County Health Department, in coordination with state health officials, will continue to take steps to ensure all proper precautions are being taken to protect Department personnel and other inmates.