COVID-19 Updates and Procedures
# of Inmates Covid Positive
# of DS Staff Covid Positive
Due to the vulnerable population within our facilities, there may be some public access restrictions, such as visiting, that may continue to be delayed. Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate this ongoing situation.
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 and doing temp. checks on all staff members when they arrive at the facilities.
- Staff members are being directed to wear facemasks if not working alone.
- We have increased screening at the booking area, with Jail Medical staff conducting COVID-19 screening evaluations during the pre-booking process.
- All new incoming inmates are being kept from being introduced into the general population for the first 14 days of their stay.
- 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 sanitation, 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.