Sheriff provides update on COVID-19 situation at the Cascade County jail

Sheriff provides update on COVID-19 situation at the Cascade County jail
Posted at 1:20 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 16:16:42-04

Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter on Friday announced that there are currently 81 active cases of COVID-19 among inmates at the detention center.

In an email update, Slaughter also said that there are 32 inmates who have now recovered. In addition, there are now a total of eight detention officers that tested positive and are recovering at home.

Sheriff Slaughter said his staff is working with other Sheriffs across the state as he tries to move several Montana Department of Corrections inmates from Cascade County to other facilities so that he can implement stronger social-distancing and quarantine measures.

Slaughter also said that there is a now designated quarantine pod in the jail to reduce the possibility of a healthy person being infected by a COVID-positive inmate, and that his staff is working with the City-County Health Department, Alluvion Health, and Planned Parenthood (the jail's contracted medical provider) to prevent further spread of the virus.

The Sheriff said that he and his team have "learned a lot" during the outbreak and modified many operations in order to meet the medical needs of staff and inmates, noting the response protocols to COVID-19 have changed as more has been learned about the virus.

He closed by thanking the inmates and their families for their patience during this difficult time, and praised the detention center staff as "community heroes" for their service.

Cascade County has reported a cumulative total of 364 cases. Of those, 185 are listed as recovered, 174 are currently listed as active, and five people have died. Nine new cases were reported in Cascade County today (Friday).

There were 58 new cases reported in Cascade County on Thursday. The City-County Health Department in Great Falls says those cases are associated with three factors: the recent outbreak at the jail, contact tracing, and travel. Age/gender of those 58 cases:

  • Two females under age 19
  • One woman in her 20s
  • Two women in their 30s
  • Two women in their 40s
  • One woman in her 70s
  • Fifteen men in their 20s
  • Fourteen men in their 30s
  • Thirteen men in their 40s
  • Seven men in their 50s
  • One man in his 60s