COVID-19 outbreak confirmed at Missoula jail

Missoula County jail
Posted at 2:27 PM, Dec 10, 2020

MISSOULA — The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office reports that around two dozen inmates at the Missoula jail -- as well as several employees -- recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Staff at the Missoula County Detention Facility are working with the facility’s medical provider and the health department to test all inmates, detention officers and civilian staff members in response to the outbreak.

A press release further states that inmates “who tested positive are isolated and will be monitored closely and treated by Detention Center nursing staff.”

Additionally, detention officers and civilian staff who tested positive will not return to work until cleared by a public health nurse.

The outbreak has created challenges to kitchen and laundry services that rely on inmate workers prompting Sheriff T.J. McDermott to stress the importance of limiting traffic in and out of the facility.

Sheriff McDermott said that it’s important to follow the existing “restrictions in accordance with the March 18 Missoula County commissioners’ resolution.”

The restrictions focus on reducing bookings of nonviolent misdemeanor offenses in order to help keep numbers at the facility low so staff can “use available space for isolation and quarantine of positive inmates and slow the spread of the virus in the facility,” according to the press release.