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Dane County Jail will medically screen new inmates to minimize COVID-19 risk

Dane County Jail will medically screen new inmates to minimize COVID-19 risk

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Deputy in Dane County Jail, State Journal generic file photo

A sheriff's deputy checks on inmates in the Dane County Jail. 

To minimize the risk of the COVID-19 coronavirus spreading in the facility, the Dane County Jail announced Monday several changes to its operations, including screening new inmates. 

Dane County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said no inmates are currently showing symptoms, but the jail is taking pro-active steps to promote inmate safety. 

Anyone who is booked into the jail will be screened by medical staff, the Sheriff's Office said. And all probation and parole hearings, as well as many other court hearings, will be held through a video conference. 

Other changes include extra cleaning within the jail and a plan for if an inmate shows signs of illness. Any inmate that develops symptoms will be quarantined in a segregation wing and monitored by the jail's medical staff. 

On Friday, the jail suspended all visitation except for attorney visits and canceled in-jail programming until at least April 1. Inmates are also not allowed to leave on work release.

Additional operational suspensions announced Monday include no more patrol ride-alongs, DNA collection, release of evidence or foreclosure sales. 

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