Two Cook County Jail Inmates Have COVID-19: Sheriff

Sun-Times Media Wire
March 23, 2020 - 4:29 pm

Cook County Jail

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Two detainees at Cook County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriff’s office announced Monday.

The detainees, ages 18 and 42, are being held in isolation at Cermak Health Services, the Cook County sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The announcement comes hours after religious leaders protested outside the jail, calling for the release of the jail’s vulnerable and non-violent population. Also Monday, a Cook County judge ordered a review of thousands of criminal cases to reduce the number of detainees at Cook County Jail during the coronavirus outbreak.

Both detainees started showing symptoms March 20. The older detainee was housed in the Residential Treatment Unit, while the younger detainee was housed in Division VI.

On Sunday, the sheriff’s office said a correctional officer at the jail also tested positive for the virus.

Cermak Health Services continues to test anyone with flu-like symptoms, and is monitoring detainees who lived with the men who tested positive, the sheriff’s office said.

The 42-year-old has been in custody since December 2019 on an aggravated DUI charge, while the 18-year-old has been held since February on charges of aggravated discharge of a firearm, the sheriff’s office said.

Sheriff Tom Dart previously banned all visitors from the jail to slow the spread of the virus and created housing tiers for new detainees where they are observed for a week for symptoms of the virus.

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