To try and minimize the spread of COVID-19 and prevent it from entering the jail as long as possible,
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On February 28, 2020, an incident action plan was put in place within the jail outlining goals to keep everyone safe and obtain supplies needed. Modified jail operations went into effect on March 16, 2020.
We began quarantine dorms for new inmates for 14 days where we could hold individuals and screen them daily for signs of the virus before eventually being placed into general population. At the same time we knew that we needed to provide protection in the form of masks for them to avoid spread to others they may have incidental contact with. Our food service provider, Aramark, assisted in making CDC recommended cloth masks out of brand new sheets that would provide a better thread count for the best filtration we could get our inmates at the time. These were required to be worn by all new intakes as well as inmate workers.
The Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the St. Lucie County Department of Public Health and Wexford Medical to conduct strategic COVID-19 testing. We anticipate positive cases to continue to occur in the days and weeks ahead, as has transpired already throughout Florida and the United States.
Inmates are currently receiving two cold meals (breakfast and dinner) and one hot meal (lunch) each day.We have closed the kitchen to inmate workers. Food will be prepared exclusively by Aramark staff. Using only Aramark staff places a burden as it is a much smaller workforce to feed over 3,300 meals per day. This has resulted in some changes to the normal food menu; these changes were approved by Aramark’s licensed dietician. Please keep in mind, these are temporary measures to best protect inmates and staff alike. These changes in staffing and workforce will also affect canteen service. We will resume normal operations as soon as it is practical and safe to do so.