Sheriff: No coronavirus at Carson City jail, crime down |

Sheriff: No coronavirus at Carson City jail, crime down

By Geoff Dornan

Contrary to rumors being spread by some folks, Carson Sheriff Ken Furlong says that, so far, his jail doesn’t have a case of coronavirus.

He said he and jail managers have instituted a number of changes to try to keep it that way.

“We’re very, very sensitive to inmate and staff health in the facility,” he said. “Inmates lack real good health care so it’s a high concern of ours.”

He also said there’s no truth to one rumor that the entire jail was in lockdown.

Among the efforts instituted to keep the virus away, he said, all inmates coming into the jail are now being screened to make sure they are safe. That means they don’t go into the general population immediately.

“We set them aside for a few days before they enter the general population to make sure they are OK,” he said.

He said he and jail managers meet every morning to discuss the welfare of inmates, staff and the facility itself. In addition, they are taking what he described as “extraordinary steps” to ensure the jail facility is clean.

He said inmate crews are also cleaning at the sheriff’s building next door to the jail.

“Even patrol cars are continually cleaned to ensure some one who comes into our custody does not leave a virus behind after being transported to the jail,” he said.

As for calls to release inmates because of the virus, Furlong said inmates who present a threat to anyone aren’t going to be released.

He said the situation is being helped by the fact that the inmate population is down significantly.

“A lot of that is due to the fact a lot of crime is not occurring in this town right now,” he said. “Folks are staying home and staying out of trouble.”

He said the biggest challenge is they are getting inundated with people with mental health issues “freaking out” because of real or imagined virus threats.

“People need to take a walk, take their dog for a walk.”

He also praised the vast majority of area businesses for complying with orders to stay closed.

“By in large, I’m seeing and enormous amount of cooperation in this community,” he said.