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Spokane County Reports Covid Outbreak At Geiger Correctional Facility

Courtesy of Jail Exchange

Spokane County officials report 39 cases of Covid among inmates at the Geiger Correctional Center in Airway Heights and one at the county jail downtown.

“We have always been aware that the risk of a major outbreak of COVID-19 at one of our facilities was a possibility,” said Mike Sparber, the director of the county’s detention services department in a statement released by the county. “Over the course of the last nine months, I have been very proud of the work that the men and women of our agency have done to keep this virus out of our facilities.

County officials say they’re working with the Spokane Regional Health District to devise a strategy to monitor cases and keep inmates who test positive separated from other inmates and staff.

On Monday, they say the department will begin testing staff weekly, testing all non-positive inmates twice a week and set up an isolation floor for all positive cases for 10-day isolation periods. They say they will also set up a quarantine area for exposed inmates to isolate for 14 days, and move positive cases identified through testing from quarantine onto the isolation floor.

The county says all staff will be mandated to wear surgical masks at all times, regardless of their distance from inmates and other staff. Also, all inmates will also be mandated to wear surgical masks unless they are alone in their cell.

County officials say they will identify alternatives for virtual court visits and attorney client meetings and try to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through use of the telephone.

Earlier this week, the county had also reported six corrections staff members had also tested positive and are isolating at home.