One Heartland jail makes changes to keep everyone safe

One Heartland jail makes changes to keep everyone safe

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Officials at the Cape Girardeau County Jail are working to keep inmates and staff safe from COVID-19.

“This will be a new normal for us,” said Sheriff Ruth Ann Dickerson.

Dickerson said they are running things a little differently and that starts with the initial contact.

“Once their temperature is taken and they are verified there they walk through the decontamination unit,” she said.

Dickerson said if an inmate doesn’t feel well they are immediately masked before going through the booking process.

“We have adjusted the holding process, so any new inmate that comes in is held in a quarantine for 14 days before they are put out into general population," she said.

Dickerson said the jail staff is paying close attention to inmates who might not feel well.

“If any of the inmates report any illness or sickness they immediately take them out of the area and report the medical staff,” Dickerson said.

She said keeping the jail clean and virus free is number one.

“The inmates, our staff and everyone of course is being advised of the same thing we are and that’s the hand washing, the hygiene and keeping every clean so that’s very, very important," she said.

Dickerson said some inmates have said they have symptoms, but aren’t telling the truth.

“It is addressed as a disciplinary problem; you know we take everything very seriously," she said.

Dickerson said people outside the facility have called saying an inmate coming to the jail has been exposed.

“We follow up on the information to confirm whether they have or they have not and if it is a false claim, we will take it to the prosecution level if necessary,” she said.

She said they are doing what they can to keep everyone inside safe.

“We are trying to follow all the guidelines and the reopening process is a slow process and we are going to make it a slow process for us also," Dickerson said.

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