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ACRJ staff source of Central Virginia outbreak

The Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak among staff members as deaths in the Thomas Jefferson Health District have grown to seven, according to new data.

Data released this week by the Virginia Department of Health shows two outbreaks in health district, which includes Charlottesville and Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, Fluvanna and Louisa counties. One is at the Envoy at the Village long-term care facility in Fluvanna County; the other, labeled at a correctional facility, is at ACRJ.

According to Martin Kumer, superintendent of ACRJ, four staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Because more than three individuals who either live or work together tested positive, ACRJ is considered to have an outbreak by the VDH, Kumer said.

“They were on work-from-home status when they tested positive,” he said. “Two other staff members who had worked closely with them prior to their work-from-home status tested negative.”

All four people are support staff members from the same department who do not have contact with inmates as part of their duties, Kumer said.

The staff members are recovering and will return to work as soon as they are cleared by the physician, according to Kumer.

No other employees or inmates have tested positive.

On March 11, the Charlottesville City Council was notified about two inmates who had been quarantined after coming into contact with someone who may have had coronavirus while on work release. That person eventually tested negative, Kumer said, and the inmates were “promptly removed from quarantine.”

Per VDH data Wednesday, there are 87 COVID-19 cases in correctional facilities throughout the state and zero deaths. Those numbers do not include the death of a woman at Goochland Correctional Center, which was reported Tuesday.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, TJHD now has seven confirmed fatalities from COVID-19 and 199 lab-confirmed and clinically diagnosed cases.

The figure is up from the four deaths reported last week; the health district did not say where the fatalities occurred.

Clinical diagnosis is a term used for individuals who have not been tested but, because they are very close contact to someone who is lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive and are experiencing symptoms, they are considered to be positive without a lab test.

Cases per locality are as follows:

Albemarle: 57

Charlottesville: 36

Greene: 4

Fluvanna: 67

Louisa: 29

Nelson: 5

Another update from TJHD is expected Friday.


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