Garfield County Criminal justice program goes into quarantine after four test positive for COVID-19 |

Garfield County Criminal justice program goes into quarantine after four test positive for COVID-19

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The Garfield County Criminal Justice program in Rifle is three days into a 14-day quarantine after two residents and two staffers tested positive for COVID-19.

The Community Corrections program “provides alternative sentencing options for non-violent offenders,” according to a news release Tuesday night from Garfield County. “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 abuse and criminal activity.”

One of the residents who tested positive had not been outside of the facility prior to testing positive while the other had gone to their place of work one week prior to testing positive, the news release states.

“The employer has been notified of potential exposure,” according to the release. “Both clients have been put on medical furlough and are isolating under supervision, at home in their respective probation districts.”

The two staff members who tested positive are isolating at home, the release states. Employees of the program are considered critical first responders.

“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,” according to the release.

No other staff members have tested positive or are symptomatic, the release states.

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.  

“When COVID became a critical issue in April, we reduced the population in the facility to make it safer for staff and residents,” said Travis Horton, Garfield County Community Corrections Security Supervisor, in the release..

“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.”

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