Davis County Jail 02

A look inside Davis County Jail on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.

FARMINGTON — A Davis County Sheriff’s Office corrections employee tested positive for COVID-19 and was sent home to quarantine, the agency said.

A few other corrections employees were identified as being at “moderate risk” and under Davis County Health Department guidelines could have stayed at work with active monitoring, the sheriff’s office said Tuesday afternoon in a press release.

“We decided to exercise an abundance of caution and instructed those employees to stay out of the workplace until 14 days from exposure have expired,” the release said.

A few other employees were judged to be at “low risk” and remain on the job, with monitoring three times a day. Monitoring includes symptom evaluation and a temperature reading.

“No inmates, volunteers or others were at any risk for exposure and we remain committed to preventing and slowing the spread of COVID-19,” the release said.

The infected employee, described as a civilian worker in the corrections division, experienced community exposure to the coronavirus, according to the release.

The employee did not experience symptoms in the workplace but had symptoms while off work and tested positive for the virus.

Jails and prisons are under heightened alert for coronavirus because social distancing is difficult or impossible. The Davis and Weber county sheriff’s offices have been reducing jail populations and making other preparations for infection prevention.

One step introduced Tuesday by the Davis jail includes segregation of male and female isolation units for all new inmates for at least 14 days.

Contact with others will be minimal; however, they will have access to many of the same privileges as other inmates in the jail, the release said.

On the 15th day, if inmates do not have COVID-19 symptoms, they will be moved into the general population.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Liz Sollis said the corrections division so far has been able to fill shifts opened up by the quarantined employees.

Gov. Gary Herbert signed an executive order recently relaxing state retirement system restrictions so agencies can call upon retired employees to fill shifts during the pandemic emergency.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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