COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia county that shares a border with Alabama confirms nearly 50 of its inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Muscogee County Sheriff's Office released information Friday showing 47 positive cases among inmates. It also said more than 420 inmates are currently in quarantine, WRBL-TV reported.
The jail currently has more than 900 inmates, the sheriff's office said.
In addition, officials said eight employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
"Several months ago, the Muscogee County Jail was COVID free," Sheriff Greg Countryman said in a statement. "Through mutation, this virus continues to show us that we are not out of the woods yet."
Countryman said his office is doing "all that is necessary to ensure the safety of everyone within the Muscogee County Jail."
The sheriff's office said several safeguards are in place including a temporary suspension of inmate visitation as well as ministerial visits and outreach volunteer services; medical masks are provided to inmates; the jail offers COVID-19 vaccinations to inmates; staff and vendors are required to submit to temperature checks upon entering the jail and wear a mask at all times while inside the facility and new prisoners undergo intake testing and quarantine procedures to block the virus' spread.
Muscogee County is located on the central western border of Georgia. Its western border with the state of Alabama is formed by the Chattahoochee River.