National Guard testing Lowndes Co. inmates for COVID-19

Updated: May. 12, 2020 at 6:55 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The Georgia Army National Guard began testing inmates for COVID-19 on Monday in Lowndes County.

Covid testing at Lowndes County Jail.
Covid testing at Lowndes County Jail.(WALB)

Sheriff Ashley Paulk said they have not had any inmates with the virus and are just doing the testing as a precaution at Lowndes County Jail. They have about 500 inmates and plan on completing testing by Wednesday.

This test is voluntary.

The sheriff said three inmates refused testing out of fear of being quarantined. For those who choose not to be tested, special housing arrangements will be made for the safety of all.

They will have results back within two days of completion. If an inmate tests positive, they will be placed in an isolation room. According to the sheriff, the way the room is set up prevents any cell particles from leaving that area.

Covid testing at Lowndes County Jail.
Covid testing at Lowndes County Jail.(WALB)

“We have had one staffman, out of roughly 230, we tested all of them and three positives. But we only had one that showed symptoms. So they were quarantined and I think two of those three are back at work already,” Ashley Paulk, Lowndes County sheriff, said.

The jail continues to follow safety protocols, including temperature screening upon entering the facility.

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