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Justice Center Sees Uptick In COVID Cases

Twenty-three inmates tested positive for COVID-19. None had to be hospitalized.
Ann Thompson
Twenty-three inmates tested positive for COVID-19. None had to be hospitalized.

The Hamilton County jail and the health agency that treats inmates are watching an uptick in the number of COVID cases.

says since June 20, 23 patients have tested positive at the Justice Center. However, the health agency says nobody has had to go to the hospital. Most have had very mild symptoms, like a low-grade fever, body aches and a cough that lasts for less than two days. Thirty percent were asymptomatic.

As of July 8, 21 of the 23 patients were still in custody. They've been isolated from the general jail population.

Naphcare and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office say they are following all guidance from the CDC and working with the Ohio Department of Health to implement best practices to control the spread of the virus.

Everybody booked into the jail is quarantined for a minimum of five days and monitored for COVID-19 symptoms.

Naphcare's Dr. Jeff Alvarez is continuing to watch the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Hamilton, Montgomery and Franklin Counties where his company does the healthcare in jails.

"The thing that would raise my anxiety more is to know, Is it happening in the general population? Is there a known contact? Can I do proper contact tracing to know whose been exposed, who hasn't, properly isolate and quarentine them, test them to get them through the illness," says Alvarez.

The average jail population was 1,516 in January. The Sheriff's department has taken steps to reduce the population at the Justice Center to reduce the risk of the coronavirus, as previously reported by WVXU.

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With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.