65 new positive COVID-19 cases reported at Meck County Jail, officials say

CHARLOTTE — 65 more cases of COVID-19 in the inmate population were reported on Dec. 9 since two days prior, officials told Channel 9.

Now, the “total of active-positive residents” is at 105. Many of those are no longer contagious and are back in the general population.

The 344 residents in Respiratory Isolation are scheduled to be tested Dec. 9 through Dec. 11

Officials are expecting the number of active-positive cases to continue to rise into next week.

‘We are playing with people’s lives’: 77 Meck County jail inmates have COVID-19

Officials said on Dec. 4 that there were 277 inmates in the Mecklenburg County jail who have COVID-19, which is up from 18 just a week ago. A vast majority are asymptomatic, and a few have minor symptoms, officials said.

Another 255 inmates are either in quarantine or isolation, according to officials.

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The sheriff’s office said Thursday that none of the infected inmates have needed to go to a hospital.

There was another spike reported on July 27 at the jail when there were 48 positive cases within the inmate population. In August, the number of cases dropped down to three or less until the latest outbreak.

This comes as NCDHHS Sec. Dr. Mandy Cohen said Thursday that the state is looking at providing vaccines for jails and prisons in the first group, after frontline workers and nursing homes.

But Charlotte activists and attorneys said elected officials need to act now to save lives.

A majority of the people currently in jail haven’t been convicted of a crime and are awaiting court dates in a very backlogged system. Misdemeanor courts haven’t resumed yet.

“They are keeping them under these outrageous monetary bonds for these misdemeanor cases that we are not having trials for yet,” said attorney Habekah Cannon. “Every day, every minute, every second, they are sitting there, they are exposed to COVID at a higher rate than we are.”

“The PPE is failing somewhere, bad,” said activist Gemini Boyd. “Now we are playing with people’s lives.”

The sheriff’s office said detention officers who didn’t know they had the virus brought it into the jail.

Fifty-eight detention officers have had COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

>> In the video at the top of this webpage hear from community activists and attorneys who say city and county leaders must act now to save lives.