Monday, June 27, 2022
Happening Now

Putnam Jail Visitations Suspended Due To Inmate COVID Cases

Visitations at the Putnam County Jail have been suspended for two weeks.

Sheriff Eddie Farris said the action was taken to quarantine the facility after multiple inmates tested positive for COVID.

“I don’t have an exact number of how many positives that we have, but it was starting to be one here and one there,” Farris said. “So, we felt like maybe we could do this and get ahead of it.”

When asked for an estimate on the number of positive COVID cases, Farris said it is, “Less than 10.” Farris said the majority of jail staff have been vaccinated, however only a small percentage of prisoners are.

“Everybody has a choice on whether to take the vaccination or not, and it should be that way,” Farris said. “We have not only vaccinated the biggest majority of the staff here at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, we’ve also offered that same vaccination to our inmates, and we continue to do so through our local health department. But having done that, there is a very small percentage of inmates that actually want to have the vaccination.”

Farris said the Sheriff’s Department suspects the virus entered the jail through inmate transportation between facilities. Farris said the Putnam Jail remained COVID free until court and transportation restrictions were lifted.

“When you transport inmates from different jails and penal facilities, the inevitable is going to happen,” Farris said. “It was just a matter of time, because we have to transport inmates to fill their court dates. Certainly, we feel like that’s how we brought it in, so we simply shut that down. We’re taking precaution and we’re going to quarantine the whole facility for the next 14 days.”

Farris said the jail is focusing on protecting at-risk inmates during this time. Farris said COVID screenings will continue in the facility, and families can still communicate with an inmate via phone.

Share