Marshall County identifies inmate who died of COVID-19, gives update on COVID-19 situation in jail

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims identified the inmate who died of COVID-19 on Friday and addressed the ongoing issues with COVID-19 cases within the jail system.

The inmate, Joseph Campbell, passed away early Friday morning due to COVID illness at Marshall Medical Center North (MMCN).

Campbell was booked into the Marshall County Jail on July 30, 2021, for Dissemination/Display of Child Pornography and several counts of Possession of Obscene Materials, according to a release.

The release said Campbell was admitted to MMNC on August 14 for evaluation.

“As of today, all COVID cases in the jail have completed the quarantine time required by CDC guidelines. We have not had any additional inmates test positive for COVID,” Sheriff Sims said in a statement.

He said that one inmate is still in the ICU at MMNC, but not on a ventilator.

Another inmate is in Huntsville Hospital and showing improvement, and is no longer on a ventilator.

The jail’s nursing staff administered 45 COVID-19 vaccines to inmates on August 27. The majority of those were second doses, though a few were first dose applications.

Sims said the Marshall County Correctional Facility is taking all CDC-recommended precautions and safety measures in order to minimize exposure among inmates and employees.

“We started offering vaccinations to all inmates several months ago,” Sims said. “Currently, about 1/3 of the inmate population has been vaccinated. We have received more requests in the last several days for vaccination shots.”

Sheriff Sims told News 19 last week before the vaccine clinic was held that about 1/3 of the inmate population was vaccinated. We asked for clarification Monday, but the sheriff’s office did not respond to our emails.

Last week the sheriff’s office said 18 inmates had recently tested positive for COVID-19 and 80 were being quarantined in the jail’s D-block. The information the sheriff’s office provided Monday did not detail those inmates’ condition.

News 19 was also given conflicting information last week about how the Marshall County was handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 25, a concerned nurse practitioner who recently put in her notice at the jail told News 19 she was concerned about COVID-19 testing and medical treatment for inmates who test positive for the virus. Robin Scott said before she quit, she got tests from the Alabama Department of Public Health to test all the inmates in the jail for COVID-19.

After telling a reporter that the jail never planned to test all the inmates, Sheriff Phil Sims later said they were planning to to test the entire jail inmate population for COVID-19 before the nurse quit, but their new provider did not think that was necessary. He said they would only test inmates who were symptomatic.

Monday, News 19 asked the sheriff’s office multiple follow-up questions about the information they released, including if they were still only testing symptomatic inmates. They did not respond.

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