Lane County Jail making changes to help stop spread of coronavirus

Anybody who is booked into jail and is going to stay in the jail is booked into a single cell for a seven-day observation period.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 5:53 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2020 6:44 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane County Jail has made some changes in their facility to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

Lane County Sheriff Cliff Harrold said booking looks different now -- screening a person before they ever leave the patrol car.

"Instead of parking and escorting their person into the building, (patrol deputies) are stopping right in front of the door and our medical staff and a couple of our jail deputies will go out and the medical screening will start while the arrestee is still in the arresting officer's vehicle," he said.

Another change -- when an inmate is booked into jail, they are placed in a single bed cell for at least seven days, so that even if they were asymptomatic and carrying any virus, the cushion would allow for them to respond as needed.

"If we were to have anybody who had a temperature or had any of the symptoms then we would sort of take a pause make sure everyone has the proper (personal protective equipment) on and make a determination on how we would bring that person into the facility if we were even going to bring them into the facility," Harrold continued.

But, he said the goal is keep people out of jail if they can

If someone is eligible they can serve their sentence out of custody with programs like street clean-up or community service -- a group which has also made accomodations.

"Sentenced offenders who are going to be serving their sentence on sheriff's work crew have been told to call us on April 28 and we'll start scheduling out work maybe then," Harrold said. "It doesn't mean anybody's sentence goes away. It just means they're not going to be serving it between now and April 28."

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