Judge orders more answers regarding COVID-19 outbreak at Vigo County Jail

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A federal judge wants more answers regarding a COVID-19 outbreak at the Vigo County Jail.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against Sheriff John Plasse and other Vigo County officials earlier this on behalf of inmate Jauston Huerta after more than 100 inmates tested positive for the virus, including an inmate who died.

Vigo County officials filed a status report Dec. 18 at the request of Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, answering various questions regarding COVID-19 at the jail.

According to the court documents, 108 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus. Inmates who tested positive are housed separately from those who tested negative, and the entire jail is on lockdown to prevent further spread.

Officials said inmates are checked for symptoms twice a day during medication dispersal. Anyone with symptoms is examined by the jail nurse. Inmates are asked to wear masks when not in their bunks and are encouraged to wash hands frequently, according to the documents.

After receiving the answers to her original questions, Magnus-Stinson asked for more information including:

  1. What COVID-19 screening, testing, or quarantining is done when a new inmate is
    confined to the Vigo County Jail?
  2. What screening, or testing is performed on jail staff?
  3. What did the Indiana State Department of Health recommend, if anything, with respect to
    preventing transmission of COVID-19 by jail staff?
  4. Are the ISDH’s recommendations being followed?

County officials have until Dec. 30 to respond.

The ACLU has also requested the court schedule a conference with all parties involved.

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