PALATKA, Fla. — The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reported that 16 of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and two people have been hospitalized.
As of Sunday, 8,530 new coronavirus cases have been reported statewide in Florida, with 21 new cases in Putnam County, health officials said.
The following statement by Colonel Joseph Wells, Chief Deputy, was posted on the PCSO Facebook page on Monday morning:
“Like many other law enforcement and emergency services agencies across the country and the State of Florida, the COVID-19 crisis has affected the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. Eighteen Putnam County Law Enforcement and Corrections deputies are quarantined. Sixteen have tested positive for the virus and two are hospitalized.
Correctional facilities across the country and the State of Florida are experiencing an increase in COVID cases. We anticipated that this would affect Putnam County as well and we have been in preparation for this since the beginning of the outbreak. Every inmate in the Putnam County Jail receives a thorough medical evaluation upon arrival and daily for the duration of their stay. These daily health evaluations quickly identified one inmate experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. That inmate was immediately quarantined and has tested positive. Despite additional testing of inmates, no additional inmates have tested positive. Proactive inmate testing will continue as recommended by the Florida Department of health. Most deputies assigned to the Department of corrections have been tested and the remaining ones will be tested in the coming days. Only essential personnel are permitted inside the jail at this time and every person entering the jail must undergo a thorough medical screening.
Services provided by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office continue uninterrupted as we continue to consult with the Florida Department of Health to make sure we institute the recommended protections for our members and our community. We continue to encourage all of our citizens to help us help you by observing social distancing guidelines and avoiding large crowds.”