More than a dozen states to open vaccines to all adults

A worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Monday, March 29, 2021, at "Vaccine Fest," a 24-hour COVID-19 mass vaccination event in Metairie, La., just outside New Orleans.

The Davis and Weber county jails, environments where social distancing is impractical, say they are working to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all inmates.

The Davis County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday it is partnering with the Davis County Health Department to vaccinate inmates.

In Ogden, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office is making similar plans.

“We’re working on it,” Lt. Joshua Marigoni, Weber corrections spokesperson, said Thursday. “Vaccination for the inmates will help us get back to some sense of normalcy and get the justice system moving in the right direction again.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, both jails have suffered outbreaks and the staffs had to reconfigure housing units to allow quarantining and isolation.

Last summer, some inmates and civil libertarians filed state and federal lawsuits and petitions seeking court orders mandating releases of nonviolent inmates.

Even with much smaller jail populations now as more nonviolent arrestees have been cited rather than booked, virus transmission has remained a danger in the lockups.

The Davis jail said 209 inmates have received a first vaccine dose.

In mid-April, vaccinations will be offered once per week to new inmates and those who have have declined earlier, a Sheriff’s Office news release said.

The Farmington jail also is continuing to follow its pandemic protocols, including quarantining new inmates for 14 days and putting into isolation until they recover anyone who tests positive for the disease or shows symptoms.

Vaccinating inmates “is critical to positive public health everywhere,” Sheriff Kelly Sparks said in the release.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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