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Fighting Coronavirus at the Bladen County Detention Center

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic has made new safety procedures a must. The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center have placed numerous safety precautions in their facilities to guard against the virus.

The Blaen County Sheriff’s Office stated in a press release, the numbers of Coronavirus cases at the Bladen County Detention Center have been relatively low, considering the number of inmates that come through the facility. On any given day, the average population at the center is approximately 120 inmates. About 40 of those inmates are in local confinement awaiting trial or serving a local sentence. The other 80
inmates are federal inmates being housed for the United States Marshall’s Service.

The Federal Inmate Program is something that Sheriff McVicker started eighteen months ago in which the federal government pays Bladen County for housing the inmates. So far, the program has generated approximately $1,965,200.00 in gross revenue.

“We go to great lengths to protect the jail population from the Coronavirus,” said Captain David Shaw, who is the Jail Administrator. He explained, when inmates first come into the facility, they are quarantined for 14 days from other inmates.

Since last July, the jail has had six inmates test positive for the Coronavirus said, Shaw.

Other than quarantine, the inmates are provided masks, sanitizer, and soap and water. They are allowed to clean their cells and take showers. The jail utilizes an atomizer-type fogger that can disinfect a large area or as small an area as a cell, transportation van, or patrol car.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, inmates are screened by the jail nurse when they first come into the facility for any symptoms of the virus. If symptoms exist, the jail has the capability to test the inmate for the virus.
Other features at the jail are a body scanning x-ray machine and an automated temperature scanner. These items protect the detention center employees from having to get too close to the inmates to search them for contraband and take their temperature.

As for employees of the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, since July 2020, six jailers and seven patrol deputies have tested positive for the virus. At present, no employees are on sick leave for testing positive for the virus.

“I am proud of the protocols and personal protection that we have put in place for our employees and inmates,” said Sheriff Jim McVicker.

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