BREAKING: 2 Bibb County inmates test positive for COVID-19

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Two inmates at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a news release sent Friday afternoon by the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.

The release said the inmates had “possible flu-like symptoms approximately one week ago.”

The sheriff’s office says it learned of their diagnoses on Thursday. The inmates were transferred to “negative pressure” cells in the jail’s infirmary area.

BCSO says negative pressure cells are used to prevent cross-contamination and that the ventilation in a negative pressure cell is designed to allow fresh air into the cell but prevents the contaminated air from escaping into the rest of the facility.

Both inmates displayed “mild symptoms” and are being monitored by the jail’s medical staff. They will be quarantined for up to two weeks before being re-evaluated by medical staff.

The areas of the jail where the two inmates were housed were immediately sanitized, and medical staff will continue to monitor other inmates who were being housed near the two inmates who tested positive.

Jail staff is working to determine how the inmates may have become infected. BCSO says both of the inmates had been incarcerated for several months prior to becoming sick.

Everyone who enters the jail facility will have their temperature taken before being allowed to make entry,” the release said. “Inmates entering the jail are medically screened and must answer a COVID-19 questionnaire before being processed.”

“Cleaning crews will continue to clean and sanitize the jail on an hourly basis and personal hygiene products are distributed to the inmates on a regular basis,” the release continued.

“Employees assigned to the corrections division are supplied with hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment so that they can perform their job tasks as safely as possible. Individuals who are either working in the jail or who are housed in the jail are being monitored for any signs of illness.”

Bibb County had 56 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Georgia Department of Public Health’s April 10 noon update.