LUDLOW, Mass (WWLP) – On Tuesday, a Holyoke man who was booked at the Hampden County Jail in Ludlow has been placed in quarantine for experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms.
According to Robert Rizzuto, spokesperson for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, the decision for the quarantine was based on the man’s recent interstate travel and symptoms that include a fever, sore throat, cough, and congestion, which are all potential markers for COVID-19 exposure.
“That individual popped positive as far as check marks on four of the symptoms that could lead to a potential coronavirus case so the individual was medically quarantined. I will say this, after the last 24 hours we anticipate that individual coming off medical quarantine in a very short time.
We have a very regimented protocol for inspections here a the facility so we’ve even elevated those with the coronavirus in making sure the transportation vans, the phones anything that could be a carrier that is commonly touched or used by our population is being sanitized on a very frequent basis.”Sheriff Cocchi
The department was in contact with state and federal health officials and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health told the sheriff’s department Wednesday night that based on the CDC guidelines, he should not be tested for COVID-19.
According to Rizzuto, as of Thursday morning, the inmate is feeling better with symptoms subsiding and the nursing staff expects that he will likely soon be removed from quarantine.
Below is the sheriff’s department’s original statement explaining coronavirus preventive measures:
In response to the emerging threat posed by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department offers the following: The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department is in constant contact with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts Sheriff’s Association to ensure we are up on the latest recommendations coming from the Centers for Disease Control. While cleanliness is paramount throughout our operation, our department has increased its cleaning schedule with the aim of disinfecting areas where a virus is most likely to be spread, including our transport vehicles and housing units. Additionally, in cooperation with our local partners in the medical field, the department has implemented mandatory staff training on the Coronavirus with the aim of using education to help prevent the introduction of the disease into our correctional system. We have also implemented new screening procedures for offenders upon intake and updated our overall nursing protocols to be able to quickly identify and respond to a potential outbreak.
“We are working with our community partners and state agencies to best prepare for the possibility of an outbreak in our correctional centers. At the same time, we are doing everything we can to prevent an outbreak from happening in the first place. We will continue to monitor the latest CDC recommendations and when necessary, modify our mandatory staff training and our procedures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus,” Sheriff Nick Cocchi said.