For Immediate Release
This press release includes attached pdf files
PR #:2000120
Date Issued:Sep 18, 2020 - 9:47am

Washoe County Sheriff's Office reports first case of COVID-19 in general population of Detention Facility

CONTACT:Sarah Johns
911 Parr Blvd
Reno, NV. 89512
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is today reporting its first known case of COVID-19 from within the general population of the Detention Facility. The inmate is a federal inmate who has been in the facility since February.

The positive test came as a result of testing before a medical procedure offsite. The inmate is asymptomatic and isolated.

 “We have known for a long time that COVID-19 is an invisible enemy,” said Sheriff Darin Balaam. “The Sheriff’s Office has long-planned and expected that an inmate would test positive within our facility. We had procedures and plans in place for just this instance, and we immediately acted upon them. We will continue to work the plans and procedures we have in place because the health and safety of every member of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, the inmates and the members of the public who conduct necessary business at our Office is my number one priority.”

As is protocol, as soon as the Sheriff’s Office became aware of the positive result, the housing unit where the positive inmate had been housed was placed in quarantine, inmates in that housing unit were issued masks, and the positive inmate was moved to a negative pressured cell in the Infirmary. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office continues to work hand-in-hand with the Health District. Staff members who were in contact with the inmate have been tested, and contact tracing is being conducted. Since July, inmates have been required to utilize masks when moving between housing units and within other areas of the Detention Facility.

Additional efforts the Sheriff’s Office has made to mitigate the novel coronavirus from spreading within the Detention Facility include isolating newly arrested inmates for a period of five days and testing those inmates for COVID-19 before placing them in general population housing units. Since the beginning of March, there have been six inmates who were identified upon arrest through the intake/booking process as being COVID-19 positive. Those inmates were immediately isolated.

Attachments: Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and NaphCare policies for infectious disease control


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.

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