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COVID-19 Outbreak Strikes Tazewell County Jail

Tim Shelley
More than 40 people connected to the Tazewell County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Tazewell County Jail is locked down after more than 40 people associated with the Pekin facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

Sheriff Jeff Lower said the jail hasn't had anyone being held at the facility test positive for the coronavirus until this week.

"We had one detainee who went to the hospital, and hospital tested him as is their routine on induction," said Lower. "He was positive, which prompted us to test everyone in the facility.

"In interviewing him, apparently there were a few mild symptoms, but they didn't want to be locked down so nobody told us."

Lower said those tests determined 39 inmates and six employees have COVID-19, and that the outbreak is contained to a single housing unit. That pod will remain locked down for at least 14 days.

"Then we'll test again and see if there any new cases," said Lower. "If they're not, then we will reevaluate the situation at that point and determine which direction will go."

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