Inmate at Al Cannon Detention Center tests positive for COVID-19

Updated: Apr. 6, 2020 at 5:22 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday an inmate at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center has tested positive for COVID-19.

He was initially screened for the Coronavirus on Friday with no issues and was subsequently classified as an inmate worker according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities say he became symptomatic Friday and was immediately isolated and tested for this reason. He is currently quarantined under treatment. Detention center personnel are coordinating communication with the inmate’s family.

As a precaution, 35 inmates that were being held in the infected inmate’s housing unit have been isolated to one location, according to the sheriff’s office. They will reportedly be under close observation for a minimum of 14 days and will be screened and temperature checked daily.

Brenda Payne, the mother of an inmate who lives in the same housing unit where the COVID-19 case was reported, said she had one thought when she heard from her son Sunday.

“I don’t want to lose him. He’s my one and only,” she said. “And for him to be so close to this virus. It just literally scares me so bad.”

The Sheriff’s Office says they continue to screen all incoming inmates, and designated personnel continue to perform temperature checks of all incoming inmates and employees.

“Whatever they see possible to keep every individual safe. Not only him but everybody in there," Payne said. "This is serious.”

Payne says her son has not yet been tested for the Coronavirus. But she wants more communication by authorities for family members of potentially-exposed inmates.

A contracted cleaning crew is currently sanitizing all areas that may have been affected.

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