The Yellowstone County Detention Facility officer who tested positive for COVID-19 likely contracted the new coronavirus during an out-of-state trip, according to Sheriff Mike Linder.
In a Monday press release, Linder said the officer had "little if any close contact with the inmates and minimal contact with staff before he was sent home."
Two other officers at the jail tested negative in recent days, including one who was sent home from work Thursday with a cough.
The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office has been working with the County Health Department and is following its guidance to protect the health of the jail inmates and staff. Information regarding who came into contact with the officers has been forwarded to the health department, Linder said.
Inmates upon booking are given a questionnaire to screen for symptoms. Staff are told to stay home if they feel ill and to leave immediately if they develop symptoms while on shift, Linder said.
The jail also has nursing staff on site 24 hours a day.
He said that one unit in the jail is vacated for upgrades and repair work. If needed, it may be used to house sick inmates separately.
Montana currently has 45 cases of COVID-19, seven of which were diagnosed in residents of Yellowstone County.
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