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36 of 41 inmates in one Douglas County Jail unit test positive for coronavirus
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36 of 41 inmates in one Douglas County Jail unit test positive for coronavirus

From the Milestones in Nebraska's coronavirus fight series
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OMAHA — The majority of inmates in one of the Douglas County Jail’s housing units has tested positive for COVID-19, the county announced Monday.

It is the jail’s largest COVID-19 outbreak, by far, since the onset of the pandemic. Of 41 inmates in the housing unit, 36 tested positive, according to a statement by the Douglas County Department of Corrections.

The department tested the inmates after learning last week that a contractor at the jail had tested positive, as well as two inmates who worked closely with that person as trustees.

County officials learned of the test results Monday.

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Most inmates were asymptomatic as of Monday, said Corrections Director Mike Myers.

The county is hopeful that its protocols for COVID-19 will contain the outbreak to the affected housing unit, he said.

Infected inmates with medical conditions or who require medication were transferred to the jail’s COVID-19 quarantine unit. The others are remaining in their housing unit.

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No new inmates will be assigned to the unit until it has been medically cleared, Myers said.

These 36 positive results bring to 50 the number of inmates known to be infected. Eleven of those came into the jail with the coronavirus, the county says.

A total of 23 employees and the one contractor have tested positive.

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