Two residents and two staff test positive for COVID-19
GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Residents of the Garfield County Criminal Justice program located in Rifle, CO are in a 14-day quarantine period following two residents and two staff members testing positive for COVID-19.
Garfield County Criminal Justice operates a community corrections program that provides alternative sentencing options for non-violent offenders. The program provides residents with the opportunity to, while under supervision, establish for themselves a foundation that will allow them to return to society better prepared to abstain from substance use and criminal activity. The program provides clients with employment opportunities outside the facility as part of the rehabilitation program.
Of the two clients that tested positive, one had not been outside of the corrections facility prior to testing positive. The other individual had been to their place of employment seven days prior to testing positive. The employer has been notified of potential exposure. Both clients have been put on medical furlough and are isolating under supervision, at home in their respective probation districts. All other current residents in the Rifle community corrections facility have been in quarantine at the facility since October 17.
Two staff members tested positive and are isolating at home. The facility is staffed 24-hours per day and employees are considered critical first responders. Community corrections staff personnel have been working with Garfield County Public Health and following exposure protocol, taking temperatures, and conducting symptoms checks multiple times per day.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s rapid response team, a team that works to contain outbreaks in congregate living settings, will work to test all clients and staff of the facility.
Isolation is a period of separation for sick people lasting 10 days, while quarantine restricts the movement of people who have been exposed for 14 days.
No additional staff have tested positive or are displaying COVID-19 symptoms at this time.
The facility has been operating under additional protective guidance due to COVID. “When COVID became a critical issue in April, we reduced the population in the facility to make it safer for staff and residents,” said Garfield County Community Corrections Security Supervisor, Travis Horton.
“Staff has been implementing strict social distancing, using masks, and is taking heightened sanitation measures in collaboration with the health department,” Horton added. “The residents are in a group living environment and it does mean that everyone has some risk of exposure, so we are taking precautions, including symptom monitoring very seriously, in addition to the quarantine. Once everyone is outside of the quarantine and isolation period, we will resume our program’s goal of giving people the opportunity to re-engage in the community in a positive manner.”