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Fifth Bristol County staff member tests positive for COVID-19, no prisoners positive

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

“He’s feeling fine,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said Tuesday. “It’s encouraging he’s feeling well and we hope he makes a full, quick recovery.”

According to a BCSO spokesperson, the corrections officer works third shift at the House of Corrections on the Dartmouth complex. He was last at the facility on Monday night, April 13, when he worked alone in a control room. He was off Tuesday and Wednesday, April 14 and 15. He didn’t feel well on Wednesday, reported to a COVID-19 testing site on Thursday, April 16, and received a positive test result on Friday, April 17.

He is the fifth Bristol County staff member to test positive for COVID-19. A nurse who tested positive last month has recovered and returned to duty, as has a K9 Officer who tested positive a few weeks ago. A corrections officer who tested positive earlier this month is returning to duty today, and a mental health professional that also tested positive is feeling well and expected to return soon. No one incarcerated in a Bristol County corrections facility has tested positive for the virus as seven symptomatic individuals have all 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 precautions we’ve taken are working, and the staff has been amazing,” Sheriff Hodgson said. “Our essential workers leave their families every day and come to work. From the security staff to food services, health care, maintenance … everyone has been amazing during these extremely challenging times. Massachusetts has been hit very hard by the Coronavirus and the next few weeks are expected to be pretty rough, so I hope everyone stays safe, practices social distancing, and follows strict sanitation recommendations.”

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