COVID-19 outbreak at Franklin County Jail causes activities to shut down and pandemic precautions

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Seven inmates have contracted COVID-19 at the Franklin County Jail, leaving about 35 staff members exposed to the virus.

“We had an inmate that was showing signs of a potential illness, and it began there with the test for the coronavirus,” said Sheriff Tim Fuller of Franklin County. “The particular inmates that have been affected are people that go out and work, mowing grass and so forth.”

This is the first group of inmates to be infected with the virus at the Franklin County Jail. The jail has had staff members infected previously.

“This virus hasn’t gone away,” said Sheriff Fuller. “And I’ve been asked the question is this the Delta strain and we don’t know.”

As a precaution, jail administration has now suspended all work activity outside of the jail. All the inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 are quarantined.

“We have no one out working,” said Sheriff Fuller. “We are probably going to be in the suspension mode for at least 14 days total.”

Jail visitations are still virtual, and jail staff is now back to wearing masks.

“…and disinfecting every two hours, which we had relieved that several months ago,” said Sheriff Fuller. “We went back to the protocols prior to lifting them approximately two months ago.”

Sheriff Fuller says staff members and inmates are not required to be vaccinated.

“We had initially, approximately, 28 staff members out of 120 that were vaccinated. And I don’t know if that number had changed since then or what,” said Sheriff Fuller.

So far, the infected inmates are experiencing mild symptoms and have not required hospitalization.

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