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Helena jail reports 30 inmates have COVID-19

Lewis and Clark County Detention Center
Posted at 2:44 PM, Jan 14, 2022

HELENA — Nearly a third of inmates at the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center have tested positive for COVID-19.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said Wednesday that they have identified at least 30 cases out of about 96 inmates. In addition, three detention center employees have tested positive. Dutton said he is not aware of any serious symptoms connected with these cases.

Dutton said two of the jail’s residential pods are currently being quarantined because cases have been found there. He said that will remain in place through this Friday.

The detention center is screening everyone who comes into the facility, including inmates and officers. If detention officers test positive for COVID, they’re sent home. Everyone inside the detention center is also encouraged to wear a mask.

Dutton said this is the largest COVID-19 outbreak they’ve seen within the jail so far. He said they will continue to follow the best practices they adopted when previous cases were identified.

“We’ve been through this once before,” he said.