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50 employees at the Nueces County Sheriff's Department test positive for COVID-19

Sheriff JC Hooper confirming to 3News 50 employees overall have tested positive for the virus department wide.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 3News continues to follow developing news out of the Nueces County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff JC Hooper confirmed to 3News that an additional 22 more employees tested positive which brings the total number overall to 50 employees that have now tested positive for the virus department wide.

The news comes a week after we reported on a COVID-19 outbreak at the McKinzie Jail Annex, where 87 out of 90 inmates in one dormitory area tested positive. Along with 14 employees at the annex.

Sheriff Hooper said this has created a significant challenge at the jail. Hooper said it's all hands-on deck.

The Sheriff is now having to re-assign employees from other departments like patrol to the jail in order to fill their correctional officer positions.

It's all in an effort to meet standards set by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.  Sheriff Hooper says the standards require 1 correctional officer per 48 inmates.

Right now the sheriff's office has 936 inmates in their system.

"We are dealing with it, we are challenged, because our employees are testing positive and showing symptoms, but we continue to meet staffing requirements in this jail," Sheriff Hooper said. 

The good news is that some employees who were positive have already recovered. Those employees went through their 14-day quarantine process and have been able to return to work.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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