County confirms COVID-19 case in detention center

Special to The Kansan
The Kansan

The Harvey County Health Department, in conjunction with the Harvey County Sheriff’s Office, has confirmed on Sept. 4 that an inmate tested positive for COVID-19 in the Harvey County Detention Center.

The inmate was recently taken into custody and was identified through precautionary testing as a confirmed COVID-19 case.

All new inmates brought into the detention center are immediately placed in a 14-day quarantine cell as a COVID-19 precaution.

“We worked with the Health Department to put these precautionary measures in place early on when COVID-19 first became a concern in our state,” said Harvey County detention center Capt. Scott Van Horn. “These safeguards help protect the health of our staff and our inmate population. Our deputies have done a great job to adapt to these changes.”

The individual is now in isolation at the detention center. The detention center has medical cells with negative pressure, which keeps air flow out of other areas of the facility.

Because the individual was not considered a close contact with deputies or the general population of the detention center, additional testing is not anticipated.

The Sheriff’s Office medical staff will regularly monitor the health of the individual.

Visitation and fingerprinting services have been suspended until further notice.

The detention center previously implemented several initiatives to reduce potential exposures to COVID-19, including requiring deputies to wear face masks when in contact with inmates, health screenings of new inmates and additional cleaning of high-touch areas.

This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Harvey County Detention Center.