Colbert County Sheriff says inmates no longer showing symptoms following COVID-19 outbreak

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. — COVID-19 remains a concern inside the Colbert County Jail but Thursday, Sheriff Frank Williamson said the situation was not as bad as it was the month prior.

In August, the sheriff reported that an outbreak was discovered after inmates who were sent to prison tested positive for the virus.

After testing was done, there were 17 positive inmates and eight positive employees across the jail.

Inmates with the worst symptoms were being isolated in an eight-person cell.

The sheriff said as of Thursday, no one is showing symptoms. “We’re kind of at the end of it,” he said. “We are 10 days past the initial start, so I believe we’re in good shape.”

Williamson said none of the inmates or employees have needed to be hospitalized but the jail did run into an issue when it came to testing.

“One of the problems that we ran into is we ran out of test kits and we haven’t replaced those, but I’ve got some ordered; they haven’t come in yet,” he said.

Williamson adds that the test kits will have to be picked up from Montgomery.

As far as vaccinations, Williamson said there were initially about 20 inmates who tested negative who chose to receive the vaccine.

“I’m going to offer that again as soon as we can and I’ve got the medical staff actually working on that to try to figure out when we can do that,” he said.

Williamson said he’s currently waiting on guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health to hold the next vaccine clinic for the inmates.

Williamson added that the health department recommends inmates who test positive wait 90 days before receiving the vaccine.

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