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Inmate tests positive for COVID-19 in Fannin County Jail
By media release
May 4, 2020
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Fannin County, Texas -- The Fannin County Jail (FCJ) in Bonham, Texas reported today that an inmate has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The facility has implemented measures to prevent the spread of the virus and no other inmates or employees are experiencing symptoms at this time.

“We are prepared to deal with this issue,” said Dr. Pamela Hearn, Medical Director for LaSalle Corrections, which operates the facility. “The facility is working hard to keep the virus out of the inmate population. Facility employees and medical staff continue to monitor inmates. Should any inmates exhibit symptoms, we will implement our protocols to test and isolate them from other inmates.”

On April 28th, the medical team observed the impacted inmate had a cough and was he immediately isolated. He was given a Covid-19 test the next day and the results came back positive May 1. As a precautionary measure, all inmates who may have been in contact with the impacted inmate have also been isolated.

Hearn said LaSalle Corrections began preparing in January for the possibility an employee or inmate would test positive for COVID-19. The facility began implementing measures to prevent the spread of the virus in accordance with Centers for Disease Control advice in February. Those measures include providing additional personal protection equipment like masks and gloves, screening inmates for the virus during the intake process, monitoring inmates for symptoms of the virus and reducing employee and inmate contact inside the facility where possible.

“Every employee is screened and has their temperature taken upon arriving at work each day,” Hearn said. “Our nurses are making rounds, checking on prisoners to see if any of them are experiencing symptoms. We have social distancing. And we are cleaning and sanitizing throughout the facility.”

Jay Eason, Director of Operations at LaSalle Corrections, said the company’s pandemic contingency plan includes “screening, testing, appropriate treatment, prevention, education, and infection control measures” and said the virus has not caused disruption to the orderly operation of facilities.

Eason said the facility is prepared to continue to operate safely and appropriately and provide inmates with the services they need.

“The responsibility to protect those in our custody is paramount and LaSalle Corrections is firmly committed to the health and welfare of our detained population,” Eason said.

Eason said LaSalle Corrections is also working closely with the Texas Jail Commission and other federal, state, and local agencies to confront COVID-19.