COVID-19 outbreak at Grayson County Jail continues

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt addresses county commissioners Tuesday about the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 at the county jail

Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt told county commissioners Tuesday that the COVID-19 situation at the Grayson County Jail is still a serious one.

Numerous members of our staff are still out, he said, but Watt is expecting some of those staff members to be able to return to work at the end of the week because they will have been quarantined the appropriate amount of time.

"We have 101 employees over there and they (those who were present) represent them," he said as he looked toward his staffers seated in socially distancing appropriate seats in the courtroom Tuesday.

He said staff he brought with him are the people responsible for trying to keep as much distance as possible between the sick and healthy people at the jail.

"We've had some that are completely asymptomatic and we have one that in a text conversation, because I didn't want her to waste any of that precious breath she had, said she felt like she was going to die," Watt said. He said that employee has not had to seek treatment at a local hospital.

Although he is hopeful for a turn around at the end of the week, Watt said, he can't rule out people being recontaminated.

"We don't have a lot of space in there," he said. "We can't isolate and we can't quarantine as they come in. We just don't have the space," he added.

Information posted on the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management's Facebook page showed that there were, on Monday, 53 cases of the virus at the jail. That includes both inmates and staff.

Grayson County Commissioner Jeff Whitmire said despite the increase, last week, in the number of cases at the jail, the number of increased cases elsewhere in the county continues to stayed pretty stable.

"We have not had the surge that in cases among the population that our neighbors to the south have had," he said.

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