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22 Sedgwick County jail inmates test positive for coronavirus

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office says 22 inmates in the jail have tested positive for COVID-19 after being tested last week.

Colonel Brian White said the inmates were tested because they came into contact with another inmate who tested positive for the coronavirus.

White said the original inmate had been in custody for about six days when he developed symptoms of the coronavirus. Jail staff immediately put the inmate in isolation. Two days later, they found out he tested positive.

Using Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) guidelines on who should be tested, the jail had 49 inmates and 7 workers tested. Of those, 22 inmates came back with positive test results.

Those inmates and the original inmate are in medical isolation. Another inmate unrelated to this case has developed symptoms and is also in isolation. While in isolation, the inmates still have access to their lawyers by video or email.

The jail says 27 inmates are quarantined under the guidance of the KDHE. Those inmates either have already tested negative or results are still pending.

White says the inmates that need medical care are getting it, but none of them are sick enough to need to go to the hospital. If that changes, they will be taken to the hospital.

Before an inmate is taken to a cell, jail staff take the inmate’s temperature, ask a series of health-related questions, and provide the inmate with a mask.

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