YORK COUNTY, SC – The York County Detention Center (YCDC) has confirmed one positive case of COVID-19. Also, one additional inmate has shown symptoms of COVID-19, but has not yet tested positive. The inmate which tested positive was taken to an area hospital for treatment, but has since been released back to the detention center, due to his symptoms not requiring hospitalization. This inmate, and the other inmate showing symptoms have been separated and are being evaluated by detention center medical staff. The inmate which tested positive has been in the YCDC for approximately eight months.
The illness was discovered through normal operational medical safety and wellbeing screenings by detention center medical staff. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is supplying the YCDC with COVID-19 testing kits for all inmates to be tested. Detention center staff is increasing sanitization of the housing units and facility.
It is unclear how a person who has been in the care of the YCDC contracted COVID-19. When an individual enters the facility, they are immediately given a facemask prior to entering the booking area and are asked a series of COVID-19 screening questions. Prior to being accepted into the facility, if a person shows any signs of COVID-19 infection, they are immediately taken to a hospital for evaluation. Once an inmate is moved out of the booking process, he or she is separated in a housing unit for a 14-day medical evaluation. During that time, the inmates are monitored for COVID-19 symptoms or any other medical issues before being moved into the general population. Once in general population, inmates are required to wear masks outside of their cells and maintain physical distancing from other inmates.
“With all of the precautions we’ve had in place since the beginning of the pandemic, it is unclear how this person who has been with us for so long became infected with the virus,” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson. “My priority as Sheriff is the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the community which includes our inmate population under my care.”
Only authorized personnel are allowed into detention facility. Each person must wear a mask and have their temperature taken each time they enter the facility. Detention officers and support staff also have their temperatures checked at the beginning and end of their work shift. No one is allowed to enter the facility that is not feeling well or exhibiting signs of illness.
This is the first positive case of COVID-19 in the YCDC since March 2020 when the pandemic began. There are currently 317 inmates housed at the YCDC. There have been 3,828 inmates housed at the detention center since March 2020. YCDC medical screening protocols have been in place for many years, including specific protocols during the 2014 African Ebola virus outbreak.