Middle River Regional Jail gives a COVID-19 vaccination update
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Earlier in the pandemic, Middle River Regional Jail experienced a COVID-19 outbreak that infected hundreds of inmates. Earlier this spring, the facility began offering those in custody COVID-19 vaccines.
As of Tuesday, there are 754 inmates housed at the facility and 29 percent of them are vaccinated.
“We have been monitoring all new intakes since March of their vaccination status and only 8 percent of the new arrests that we have monitored since March have been vaccinated,” Major Eric Young said.
Young says that anyone housed in the facility who will be there for more than 24 hours is given the option to take the vaccine. He says vaccines are distributed by the jail’s medical staff.
“As we get five or six participants then we will administer those vaccines,” Young said.
If someone opts for a two-dose vaccine and is released prior to the time for the second dose, Young says they are able to come back to the facility to finish the vaccination.
Young says they have kept protocols in place since the initial outbreak of COVID-19 and also been evolving with CDC guidance. Young says inmates are tested at the time of booking and are quarantined before being put into the general population.
“We offer masks to the inmates daily and if they take one, they take one. We continue to have our cleaning protocols in place and that was even prior to COVID,” Young said. “If we have an inmate that is showing symptoms then we will test that inmate and if that inmate tests positive, then, of course, we isolate that inmate and then inmates that have been around that inmate, we would test also.”
Young says masks are enforced for staff. Masks are enforced for inmates when they are in transit around the facility and outside of their housing area.
As of Wednesday, there are two inmates that are positive for the virus at the facility. Officials say they are currently reviewing possible incentives for inmates to take the vaccine.
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