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6th Bristol County staff member tests positive for COVID-19, zero prisoners test positive

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DARTMOUTH – A Bristol County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a BCSO spokesperson, the corrections officer left work after becoming ill in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 19, during a third-shift assignment in a control room at the Bristol County House of Corrections in Dartmouth. He received a COVID-19 test later on April 19 and was notified of a positive test on Monday, April 20.

“There have been almost 2,000 confirmed cases of the virus in Bristol County overall,” Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said Thursday morning. “We feel very fortunate that every staff member who has tested positive at the Sheriff’s Office has either made a full recovery and returned to duty or is feeling okay and expected back soon.”

The officer is the sixth Bristol County staff member to test positive for COVID-19. A nurse, K9 officer and a corrections officer have fully recovered and returned to duty. A mental health professional and two corrections officers, including this most recent one, are expected to make full recoveries and return to duty soon.

Currently, no one incarcerated in a Bristol County corrections facility has tested positive for the virus. Eight symptomatic prisoners have tested negative.

Over the past month, the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office has instituted many protocols to protect inmates, detainees and staff from the Coronavirus outbreak. Some of those measures include:

• All employees were given masks that must be worn inside the secure perimeter of our facilities. All inmates and detainees have also been given masks to wear for protection.

• All areas of the facility are being cleaned\disinfected every day on every shift.

• All staff members are being screened before entering the buildings; new arriving inmates are being screened before being accepted into custody.

• In-person visitation has been suspended to limit the number of people coming in and out.

“The support we’ve received from the community has been outstanding and it means a lot to our health care professionals, food services team, corrections officers and every other essential worker here who keeps our operation running around the clock,” Sheriff Hodgson said. “The next few weeks are expected to be rough, so I can’t stress enough to the people of Bristol County the importance of staying home if possible and practicing strict hygiene protocols. We’ll get through this together.”

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