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COVID-19 Procedures

Updated: 7/6/2020

As Governor Inslee eases Covid-19 restrictions within the State of Washington, Spokane County Detention Services will continue to monitor the situation. Due to the vulnerable population within our facilities, there may be some public access restrictions, such as visiting, that may continue to be delayed beyond the Governor’s restrictions. Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate this crisis.

As of July 6, 2020: 

  • 1 Person in custody has tested positive for COVID-19.*
  • One person was brought into the jail on a Civil Heath Hold on 7/2/20 under SRHD - Dr. Lutz’s civil commitment. He has tested positive for COVID-19. He refused to self-isolate and has been out in the community. As of now this is a ten-day commit. The individual is being isolated and housed in the Medical Unit of the facility.  All Covid-19 safety protocols are being followed closely.
  • No staff member of Detention Services has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • There are 621 adults in custody. (This number continuously changes throughout each day)

As Spokane County Detention Services Safeguards Established To Reduce COVID-19 Risks

On 2/29/2020 Washington State Governor Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a response, Spokane County and the City of Spokane both have called for a state of emergency as the number of cases within Washington continue to grow.

In a similar response, on March 16th, Spokane County Detention Services began working with our criminal justice partners – Superior Court, District Court, Municipal Courts, City and County Public Defenders, City and County Prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies – to draw down the population at both the Spokane County Jail and Geiger Corrections Center. Spokane County Detention Services consults frequently with Spokane Regional Health District authorities, and is provided continual updates on processes and the health and safety practices of our organization. We believe this continual and ongoing collaboration creates a safer environment for staff and everyone entering our facilities

Spokane County Detention Services precautions to ensure public health and safety within its facilities.
Here are some of the steps that Detention Services has taken to promote social distancing and minimize exposures:

  • We are now asking professional visitors and anyone entering our lobby to please wear a facemask.
  • We are screening all staff members when they arrive at the facilities.
  • We have increased screening at the booking area, with Jail Medical staff conducting COVID-19 screening evaluations during the pre-booking process.
  • We have cancelled all public visitation. In response, inmates are authorized to send 2 out two envelopes per week free of charge. In addition, inmates are allowed one free 5-minute phone call per week.
  • We have resumed some inmate group programs; GED, Substance Use Disorder and Breaking Barriers have resumed with reduced class sizes, social distancing and face mask requirements. We will continue to evaluate the ability to resume other programs and services.
  • Community programs such as Work Crew, Community Services have resumed with increased focus on sanitations, social distancing and safety masks requirements. 
  • Work Release remains suspended till further notice.
  • We have increased our cleaning efforts at both facilities, using a targeted approach focusing on high touch areas.
  • If someone in custody tests positive for COVID-19, we will place them in medical isolation and provide appropriate medical care, use appropriate personal protective equipment and use appropriate infection control techniques to minimize and reduce the risk of transmission.

We understand that these actions will affect many who receive or provide services at our facilities. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 Frequently asked Questions:

Question: Is Spokane County Detention Services working with the courts to release inmates early?
Answer: The courts are responsible for determining how long someone is in custody, not Detention Services. However, we are working with the courts, public defenders, prosecutors and law enforcement to quickly and safely reduce the number of people in custody. By doing so, we hope to create more opportunities for social distancing that will ultimately ensure the health and safety of everyone in our facilities.

Question: How is Spokane County creating opportunities for social distancing at its facilities?
Answer: Through collaboration with our criminal justice partners we have looked at options to reduce the in-custody population. This population reduction allows for Healthcare providers to isolate people at a higher risk of complications from contracting COVID-19. Additionally, we have cancelled group activities, public visitation and have taken steps to reduce inmate movement within the facilities.

Question: What criteria is Spokane County Detention Services taking to test for COVID-19?
Answer: Spokane County Detention Services, working with Spokane Regional Health District and our contract medical provider Naphcare, has established guidelines for identifying symptoms and managing those individuals that are suspect of COVID-19. Detention Services has access to testing kits as needed for follow up testing of symptomatic individuals.