Four inmates at Riverside Regional Jail have tested positive for COVID-19 and will remain in quarantine away from the facility’s 1,300 other inmates until they recover, jail officials confirmed Friday. Two staff members at the facility have also tested positive.
The four inmates were tested after complaining of cold-like symptoms, Sgt. Viola Spratley, a jail spokeswoman, said in an email. Tests performed on additional inmates are pending, she added.
The infected inmates were immediately removed from the jail’s general population and placed in the facility’s “infectious control pod,” where they will remain until they recover and test negative for the virus, Spratley said.
The pod where the infected inmates were housed has been on lockdown for several days, Spratley said, “and we are preparing to test all inmates in that area.” In addition, jail staff who came in contact with that area will be tested, she added.
The two employees who tested positive have been placed on leave until their quarantine period has lapsed, and they will be re-tested before returning to work, Spratley said.
The virus infections are the first known exposures from within the jail.
Last week, jail officials confirmed that an inmate who tested positive for the coronavirus before being transported to the facility was quarantined from the other inmates upon his arrival on May 4.
Jail officials said they received prior notification that the arrestee had tested positive on May 1 at John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell.
On May 13, jail officials reported that the inmate was “progressing well” with no symptoms after being administered two COVID-19 tests in three days that showed negative results for the virus.
Riverside, located in Prince George County, is one of the largest jails in central Virginia and serves Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell and the counties of Chesterfield, Charles City, Surry and Prince George.