Arlington, VA – An inmate in the Arlington County Detention Center (ACDF) has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is doing well and the medical contractor of the Detention Center will be closely managing his symptoms.
This is the first inmate to have contracted the COVID-19 virus and the Sheriff’s Office is taking all necessary steps to ensure the well being of those incarcerated. The Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with Public Health officials and has initiated contact tracing of the individual to determine any potential spread to other inmates and personnel whom they have come into close contact with. The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) and Public Health will continue to monitor the individual’s condition and take necessary steps should any other inmates or agency personnel present symptoms.
Agency Protocols to Help Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19
At the onset of the pandemic in March, the ACSO implemented the following protocols, in accordance with guidelines set forth by the Virginia Department of Health, to help address the concerns of our staff, the Courthouse, the public and individuals that have been remanded to our custody.
- Daily temperature checks and symptom screenings of all staff that enter the Detention Center and Courthouse
- Daily temperatures and symptom screenings of all individuals in our custody.
- Initial medical screening of arrestees.
- Daily cleaning, in addition to the regularly scheduled cleanings, of areas in the Arlington County Detention Facility (ACDF) and Courthouse with the Electro Static Sprayer.
- Redesign of Intake Units:
- We have created new procedures for the Intake Housing for all inmates entering the facility. Due to our inmate population being low, it has given us flexibility to ensure inmates coming into custody are housed separate from general population for 14 days to ensure no possible COVID symptoms.
- Suspension of staff roll calls to adhere to social distancing guidelines by the CDC.
- Staff that are able to telework, are being given the opportunity to do so.
- Staff are provided personal protective equipment to wear when social distancing is not possible, to include masks, gloves, goggles, and gowns as appropriate.
- All individuals in our custody have been provided cloth face coverings to wear when they are out of their cells.
- Meals are served in disposable trays.
- Inmate movement throughout the facility is minimized.
- In-person visitation has been cancelled however inmates have been given two free phone calls a week.
- Video visitation is being conducted via iPads.
- Programs have been cancelled.
- Inmate Service Counselors are providing classes and activities.
- Sheriff’s Office and the Courts have been working together to modify procedures in order to lessen the interaction between individuals, maintain social distancing guidelines, and to follow the stay at home orders issued in Maryland, DC and Virginia.
The COVID-19 Virus continues to create an ever-changing environment for all of us. “These steps have and will continue to be modified regularly in order to best manage the COVID-19 Virus. The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office takes the health and welfare of our staff, the public and those placed into our custody in the highest regard,” says Sheriff Arthur.