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2 inmates at St. Lucie County Jail test positive for coronavirus, sheriff says

Posted at 12:10 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 17:34:52-04

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Two inmates at the St. Lucie County Jail have tested positive for the coronavirus, Sheriff Ken Mascara announced on Monday.

The sheriff said the inmates reported having a fever and body aches on May 13.

Around the same time, Aramark, the jail's food service contractor, said a member of its staff had been exposed to someone suffering from COVID-19.

The inmates were immediately isolated, and the jail launched a contact tracing investigation.

"One Aramark employee, no sheriff's office employees, and two inmates have tested positive," Sheriff Mascara said.

Health officials added the infected Aramark employee was likely asymptomatic when that person come in contact with inmates at the St. Lucie County Jail.

As a result of the coronavirus scare, five inmates, 13 sheriff's office employees, and two Aramark employees have been quarantined.

"The entire dormitory that housed the exposed inmates has been placed on a lockdown quarantine to ensure that no other inmates display symptoms or come in contact with others in the jail," Sheriff Mascara said.

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The sheriff said the St. Lucie County Jail is now restricting kitchen access to only necessary staff members and inmate workers.

Aramark is also carrying out enhanced sanitation of the kitchen area and increased physical distancing between employees.

"Should any inmate show symptoms of COVID-19, the protocols have been established to isolate them and provide for medical treatment," Sheriff Mascara said.