238 Inmates Infected With Coronavirus At Chicago’s Cook County Jail

Chicago, IL — As coro­n­avirus cas­es con­tin­ue to rise in the coun­try, Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois has record­ed the high­est num­ber of cas­es in a sin­gle area in the entire coun­try. They have had a total of over 355 cas­es since the pan­dem­ic start­ed – 238 inmates and 115 staff mem­bers.

The out­break of the virus appar­ent­ly start­ed from 2 inmates who were the first ones to test pos­i­tive for COVID-19 about two weeks ago.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office, which oper­ates the jail which is one of the country’s largest with more than 4,500 inmates, not­ed that the num­bers could increase even more as a vast major­i­ty of the inmates have yet been test­ed.

The inmates who have test­ed pos­i­tive have already been placed in a quar­an­tine area, while at least 17 who had com­pli­cat­ed symp­toms have been hos­pi­tal­ized. One inmate who is COVID-19 pos­i­tive appar­ent­ly died of com­pli­ca­tions from the coro­n­avirus, offi­cials said.
“This has been a dif­fi­cult time for every­one,” Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart told the New York Times.

The rapid trans­mis­sion of the coro­n­avirus behind bars have been linked to the over­crowd­ed and unsan­i­tary con­di­tions in jails that alleged­ly helped spread the virus. According to reports, at least 1,324 coro­n­avirus cas­es are from U.S. jails, includ­ing at least 32 deaths.
In line with that, some author­i­ties were prompt­ed to release thou­sands of inmates who were most­ly await­ing tri­al or sen­tenced for non­vi­o­lent crimes to decrease the prison pop­u­la­tion. Visitations have been pro­hib­it­ed also to pre­vent fur­ther spread to peo­ple out­side the prison.