Lawsuit filed against Public Health over COVID-19 cases at Montgomery County Jail

Local News

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Attorneys with Advocates for Basic Legal Equity (ABLE) filed a case in Montgomery County Common Pleas court Tuesday aimed at protecting inmates and staff of the Montgomery County Jail from COVID-19.

The Mandamus action was filed on behalf of Leaders for Equality Action in Dayton along with a Montgomery County Jail inmate against the Dayton & Montgomery County Board of Health and Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper.

The case seeks an Order requiring Public Health to take action with “repeated requests to the jail that more be done to diagnose and control the COVID-19 outbreak at the jail.”

A spokesperson for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office tells 2 NEWS that as of July 14, the Montgomery County Jail has had 37 inmates and eight staff members test positive for COVID-19, and 31 inmates test negative. However, they say the facility has a large transient population with high turnover among those entering and exiting daily. As of July 14, the jail has nine inmates in custody who tested positive and are currently isolated, and one staff member who tested positive and is in self-quarantine.

Read their full statement below:

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is fully committed to the health and safety of both inmates and staff inside the Montgomery County Jail during this pandemic.  

We know that there are questions and concerns among family and friends of loved ones inside our facility. The management of COVID-19 has been a fluid situation and we can expect to continue updating policies and procedures as national and state best practices for correctional and detention facilities are modified.

MCSO continues to work cooperatively with our local and state health departments as well as collaboratively with our medical vendor, Bureau of Adult Detention and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.  We are fully collaborating with our oversight agencies to ensure that we are managing our facility in the most medically and operationally sound way possible. Our state oversight agencies have agreed with our current policies and procedures.  These practices are also consistent with how jails in eight surrounding counties are managing their operations during the pandemic.

To date, the Montgomery County Jail has had, 37 inmates and 8 staff members test positive for COVID-19 and 31 inmates test negative for COVID-19.

However, It is important to note that our facility has a large transient population with high turnover among those entering and exiting daily.  As of July 14th, 2020, the Montgomery County Jail has 9 inmates in custody who tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently isolated and 1 staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently in self-quarantine.

The Montgomery County Jail intends to continue following guidelines and best practices specifically that entail isolating those who show signs and symptoms, testing those where it is medically indicated and completing contact tracing to properly identify and quarantine any potential exposures inside the jail.  

Spokesperson for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

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