CHICAGO (CBS) — The Cook County Sheriff’s office said Thursday evening that 24 County Jail detainees and nine Sheriff’s office employees have now tested positive for coronavirus.
A total of 89 detainees have been tested after exhibiting flulike symptoms, the Sheriff’s office said. In addition to those who tested positive, two have tested negative and another 63 have tests pending.READ MORE: Federal Judge Says Deadline To Ratify Equal Right Amendment 'Expired Long Ago' In Setback To Advocates' Efforts
As it now stands, new detainees are put in a separate holding area for seven days to be watched for symptoms. Then if it’s positive, depending on the severity, they’re taken to separate barracks a half mile away.READ MORE: At Least 22 Shot, 2 Killed In Weekend Violence In Chicago
“This had been a place we had all the mentally ill folks out here,” said Sheriff Tom Dart.
But those mental health programs at Cook County Jail have now downsized and moved away to make room for more than 500 beds for detainees who have or might have COVID-19.MORE NEWS: CPS Middle School Students Returning To Classrooms Monday
On Wednesday, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said, “No other jurisdiction we saw is testing people on their way out the door.”