The Wilson County Sheriff’s Department is monitoring COVID-19 within the Wilson County Jail as vaccine accessibility remains unknown.
Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said as of last Friday there were no inmates being treated for symptoms of COVID-19, noting the facility’s population was just more than 400 inmates. Bryan said the facility has had 54 inmates and 19 corrections officers test positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Bryan discussed actions taken at the jail and by Wilson County Sheriff deputies and personnel to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the jail.
“All corrections officers are required to wear a mask while on duty. Temperatures are taken before they are allowed into the building,” Bryan said. “Inmates are being given masks every week and movement in the jail is as static as we can operate under.”
Bryan also said inmates coming into the facility are quarantined for 14 days before moving into the regular population.
“If an inmate shows any symptoms, they are tested. If a test on an inmate comes back positive, they are quarantined in place and treated until they recover and show no symptoms,” he said.
The facility has seemingly avoided an outbreak, which has been seen at other facilities within the state, with the biggest coming at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville, where more than 1,000 inmates and personnel contracted the virus last year.
First responders and corrections officers have the opportunity to receive the vaccine under the state’s COVID-19 vaccine phases.
“As soon as the vaccine is made available to inmates, we will offer it to the inmate population,” Bryan said.
The Tennessee Vaccine Plan groups inmates into Phase 3, which has an estimated time of eligibility for the third or fourth quarter of this year.
Wilson County Corrections Administrator David Bennett said the Wilson County Jail currently has visitation open.
“As always, there is no contact between inmates and the public. Contact will be made through either a computer screen or between a glass barrier,” Bennett said. “As per the governors order, no more than 10 people are allowed in the visitation area and masks and social distancing is required.”