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Nueces County sheriff says jail is using past COVID wave trends to better protect staffers, inmates

Out of 1,068 inmates, 28 are positive for COVID-19, according to the sheriff's department.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Nueces County Sheriff J.C. Hooper says that his sheriff's office is using the example of past waves of the COVID-19 in our community to better protect jailers and inmates from the virus. 

Over two years ago, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public health district has tracked different variants and waves of the virus as COVID-19 surged in our community. 

The sheriff says now, he's using those lessons learned to thwart a wave of infections in the county jail.

"We've been through this before about a year ago with a huge surge back when they called it the delta variant," Sheriff Hooper said. "COVID cases have been kept at a minimum in a jail almost full. "Today, we have 1,068, we're about 91% of capacity."

According to Hooper, out of 1,068 inmates, 28 are positive for COVID-19. And additionally, safety precautions are presented the moment an inmate comes into the jail.

"When the inmates come into the jail, they're offered a vaccination," Hooper said. "Some of them take advantage of that, others do not. We are very liberal with our testing. We are frequently testing out inmates who claim to be symptomatic and we're almost testing our employees frequently".

The sheriff says there was a time where dozens of inmates tested positive for the virus but since then, him and his staff have paid attention to ways to slow the spread.

"We have these sprayers that we use throughout the jail frequently," Hooper said. "We have disinfectant, we have PPE. Everything that we learned a year ago is still in play."

The sheriff said the inmates who have the virus are moved away from the other inmates while they quarantine.

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

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