Thurston Sheriff Tests Positive for COVID-19 as County Confirms Outbreak at Jail

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The Thurston County Sheriff has tested positive for COVID-19, he told The Olympian Friday, and the county confirmed a second outbreak of the virus at the county jail.

Sheriff John Snaza said he received a positive test result on Wednesday, but he said he has had no symptoms so far and is continuing to work from home.

Thurston County Public Health and Social Services confirmed Friday that three employees who work at the jail tested positive on Jan. 7. Additionally, eight out of 203 inmates' test results came back positive for COVID-19 on Monday, Jan. 11, according to a statement from the health department.

This marks the second outbreak at the facility. The first started on Aug. 17 when the first inmate tested positive. When the outbreak closed, a total of 13 people within the facility had tested positive, including nine inmates and four jail staff members.

Snaza also confirmed that some inmates and staff within the Sheriff's Office have tested positive but he declined to describe the extent of the outbreak.

"What I can tell you is we are taking some precautions and some people are getting tested for it," Snaza said.

The jail has isolated the inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts, according to the health department statement. The department is working with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office correctional staff leaders to respond to the outbreak, the release read.

The health department will conduct a second round of testing at the jail on Jan. 19, according to the release.

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