Rise in coronavirus cases concerns family members of Roanoke City Jail inmates

ROANOKE, Va. – While the Roanoke City Jail was late to experience positive coronavirus cases, some family members of inmates said jail-wide testing should have taken place sooner.

As 10 News has reported, the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office announced everyone would be tested following several positive cases.

A total of 14 inmates at the Roanoke City Jail have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday, the Sheriff’s Office announced that of 389 inmates who were tested, 10 tested positive.

This 10 is in addition to the four cases among inmates and 14 cases among Sheriff’s Office staff, that 10 News has previously reported.

Glenn Daugherty contacted WSLS 10 News concerned about his son serving an 18-month sentence in the jail.

He claims deep cleaning is not happening as it should, social distancing guidelines are not enforced and proper, and effective PPE is not available.

The Sheriff’s office refutes that.

The Virginia chapter of the National Action Network has been working to ensure inmate testing is occurring.

“You got this constant in-and-out because a lot of movement takes place in the prison system as well as the jail,” said William X. Brown, chair of the Criminal Justice Committee.

Sheriff Tim Allen was not available for an interview on Wednesday. In a statement he said, “Health and safety of those in our care is top priority. We continue to take proactive measures to ensure the department is doing everything to mitigate and manage the spread of COVID-19 in the facility.”

As of Wednesday, officials with the Sheriff’s Office report testing is two-thirds of the way complete.

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