Amid virus outbreak at jail, sheriff institutes mask mandate

DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia sheriff has instituted a face-covering policy for workers at a local jail and issued masks to inmates amid a widening COVID-19 outbreak.

A total of 49 inmates at the Danville City Jail were infected as of Saturday afternoon, Sheriff Mike Mondul told the Register & Bee. The sheriff’s office first disclosed a single positive test at the facility on Wednesday.

“None of the inmates who have tested positive have significant symptoms at this point,” Mondul said.

Earlier in the week, Mondul told the newspaper that not all jail employees had been wearing masks. When asked why there wasn’t a mask policy before now, he said there were no issues before Wednesday.

“We had a mask policy, but the wearing of masks was not mandatory,” Mondul wrote in an email on Saturday. “No issue, no masks.”

It was not immediately clear if facility-wide testing would be conducted for all 255 current inmates and the employees who work there.

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