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COVID-19 outbreak reported at Dare Detention Center

An outbreak of coronavirus cases has emerged at the Dare Detention Center.

On Jan. 7, two active COVID-19 cases were reported at the Dare County Detention Center on Roanoke Island.

Mass testing of all inmates and staff was initiated Jan. 8. That testing resulted in 15 additional positive cases. On Jan. 12, another positive case was added bringing the total coronavirus cases at the Detention Center to 11 inmates and seven staff, according to Dare County’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Dare County Sheriff Captain Allen Moran oversees the county’s detention center, which takes in arrestees from Dare, Tyrrell and Hyde counties. He said the total number of inmates on Wednesday, Jan. 13, was 52 persons – five females and 47 men.

The same day, the positive case inmate count was nine, all males. Those infected are reported to have exhibited only runny noses and sore throats. No one has been sent to a hospital.

On Jan. 13, Detention Center officers with the coronavirus numbered 12 in home isolation with two more in quarantine.

Mass testing of 70 people occurred again Jan. 14, 2021.

The number of detention officers with positive cases has risen to 16.

No additional inmates tested positive for the coronavirus on Jan. 14.

Authorized staff positions number 52, but the center is currently operating with 42 officers. The center is required to have 32 detention officers to operate. A contingency plan is in place if the number of officers falls close to 32, reports Moran.

Moran reports that the entire Detention Center is under lockdown, with all detainees in cells. Meals are delivered on trays. Inmates are allowed into the common area one at a time. All inmates and staff are wearing masks.

For almost 10 months of this pandemic, the Detention Center had no active cases of COVID-19, a tribute to the staff for careful cleaning routines, said Moran. He said three to five people who are arrested come into the Detention Center every day.

Mass testing will be administered once a week until the new case count is zero.

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