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Seventh Bristol County Sheriff staff member tests positive for COVID-19



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

The corrections officer was last at the facility in Dartmouth on Sunday, April 19, when he worked in a housing unit during second shift. The officer became ill during his days off, Monday and Tuesday, and tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 22.

He is the seventh Bristol County staff member to test positive for the virus. Three staffers have fully recovered and returned to duty and the others are expected to fully recover and return to work in the coming days and weeks.

“We have always been mindful that staff and their families are out in the community at the grocery store, gas station and other places when shopping or tending to other responsibilities, and that is why we have strict screening, sanitation and reporting requirements in place to minimize the risk of exposure to our staff and inmate population,” Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said. “There are hundreds of essential workers here around the clock, from our security staff to health care professionals, food services teams and administration, finance, programs and support staff. In the face of a national pandemic, these dedicated corrections professionals continue, day in and day out, to report for duty and work together as a team to maintain our first-class standards of care and custody.”

Currently, no one incarcerated in a Bristol County corrections facility has tested positive for the virus, according to the BCSO. 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.

“There are almost 2,200 confirmed cases in Bristol County and more than 46,000 positives in Massachusetts,” Sheriff Hodgson said. “The virus is taking its toll on our neighborhoods, communities, states and our nation. Everyone’s on edge, but we will get through this. Saturday’s supposed to be a great day weather-wise in Bristol County, so I hope everyone gets some fresh air while maintaining proper social distancing and hygiene. Have a safe weekend everyone.”

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