Fifteen Blount County Sheriff’s Office employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and “the majority of deputies” have reported symptoms, sheriff James Lee Berrong said on Tuesday.
The office announced the positive cases and five probable, quarantining cases in a Facebook post. No inmates have been affected, according to the post.
Berrong stated that the office is following the CDC’s guidelines, including daily temperature and health checks for employees and citizens entering the Justice Center. Everyone is required to wear a mask in “public areas” of the Justice Center.
“We are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus among our 350 deputies and our inmate population,” Berrong said. “…The upside is that we (are) managing to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the ranks, and our reported cases are now on the downtick and we believe we have prevented any further spread.
It will be a relief to see an end to this pandemic. In the meantime, the Sheriff’s Office is operating efficiently, and we are continuing 24 hour operations to provide services and protection for our citizens.”
This is a developing story. More details will be added as they are available.