43 inmates at Mecklenburg County Detention Center test positive for COVID-19

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office said there has been an increase of coronavirus cases at the county detention center.

At this time, 43 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 out of a current population of approximately 1,350. They expect that number could go up as they test more people.

According to officials, no inmates have been hospitalized or died due to the virus. Some inmates have shown mild symptoms while others didn’t have symptoms at all.

Officials said there are around 45 new inmates each day, which makes it difficult to stop the spread.

Since March, nine officers at the jail also tested positive.

The facility said it didn’t have its first cases until after June 10 when an out-of-state transfer to the center showed symptoms and tested positive.

Mecklenburg County said it continues to try and control the spread of the virus.

Sheriff Garry McFadden told Channel 9 the increase in cases at the jail is a reflection of the growing number of cases across the Charlotte community.

“In the beginning, we were doing well, but now, because of the cities opening up and people out every day, now we have it introduced inside,” McFadden said. “Also we have approximately 30 to 40 people being arrested coming inside the detention center daily, so we have a population coming in and a population coming out. And of course, now we are out now more than ever and we are now wearing the masks like we should so we are running a higher risk now of COVID-19 in the facility.”

McFadden said in prior months, they had few cases because they didn’t book people into jail at all if they symptoms.

They have since had to start accepting more people.

All residents and staff inside the jail wear masks and get temperature checks.

Officials said anyone who comes into the facility is screened for symptoms, given a face covering and placed in quarantine for 14 days and monitored.

In North Carolina, there have been COVID-19 outbreaks reported at 25 correctional facilities. More than 2,000 cases and 31 deaths have been linked to those outbreaks.