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7 Metro Corrections officers test positive for COVID-19 in less than two days

Only one other officer was diagnosed a few weeks earlier.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Seven officers at Metro Corrections have tested positive for COVID-19. This comes after the jail has been pretty clear of cases, with only one officer being diagnosed weeks earlier. Eighteen others are in self-quarantine because they came into contact with the infected officials.

The FOP spokesperson, Tracy Dotson, says it's alarming these many cases surfaced in less than 35 hours.

"It's tough, it's nerve racking, it's very scary and dangerous right now, for anybody whether it's an officer or an inmate," said Dotson.

Correctional facilities face unique challenges, with the amount of people who come in and out of the facility, and the staff that runs it 24/7. The amount of new people coming in and out of the building has even decreased significantly. Dotson says they usually have anywhere from 70 to 100 intakes a day, now it's closer to 30 to 50.

"Our count has been lower than it's been in the 20 years since I started there," Dotson says.

Dotson said it's unknown exactly where the officers contracted the virus. The department has taken measures such as immediate screening for the virus when staff and inmates arrive at the facility, increased cleaning and sanitizing protocols to keep everyone safe. They also have a heightened focus on cleaning high-touch surfaces, including door handles, railings, light switches, counter tops and other areas where people regularly place their hands.

They have tested 122 inmates, all of who were negative, and 14 are pending. 

"Very, very good step by step protocols issued by the department up to this point," Dotson said.

But regardless of their steps, Dotson said it only takes one case to run rampant inside a jail.

While those who tested positive and those in self-quarantine are not working, the jail is maintaining adequate staffing through increased overtime and other measures. 

Community Corrections Center (CCC) will be temporarily closed. They will be transferring the staff and the remaining inmates housed there to the main jail. Their goal is to have this completed by Monday, May 4, 2020.

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►Contact reporter Jessie Cohen at JCohen@whas11.com and follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

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