Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace is following guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and State Department of Health at the Warren County Jail and his office during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All visitors who enter the Warren County Sheriff’s Office will not be allowed past the front lobby. Pace said employees have been sanitizing the lobby on an hourly basis to ensure visitors’ safety.
“We are encouraging everyone to use telephones if possible,” Pace said. “We’d be glad to take reports over the telephone.”
Once reports are made, Pace said office personnel is mailing them to all parties who may need copies, which minimizes the traffic of individuals coming into the office to access hard copies.
No visitation is allowed at the Warren County Jail for now. Access is restricted to employees, food-service workers, attorneys and bails bondsmen, all of whom must have their temperature checked before entering the facility. Any new inmates to the jail during the pandemic will be evaluated by a nurse for flu-like symptoms. If symptoms exist, the detainee will be placed in a single holding cell and medical professionals will be called in further assess the inmate.
Sheriff Pace said he has made no changes regarding patrol procedures.
“A lot of the safety precautions, we’ve been following anyway,” Pace said. “We’ve issued the hand sanitizer for years. We’ve issued the protective gloves, so the patrol officers are carrying on their duties.
“I don’t want anyone to believe we aren’t enforcing the law. We are enforcing the law.”
Pace said his main concern is to limit contact as much as possible to eliminate cross-contamination.
“If a patrol officer or a correctional officer is having to actually physically put their hands on someone, they immediately dispose of those gloves and put on a fresh pair of gloves before they have contact with anyone else,” Pace said.
He said this pandemic is all about numbers. “The more people you have contact with the more the greater the possibility of contracting the virus,” he said.
Ultimately, Pace urged the public to not panic.
“We need people to stay calm,” he said. “Don’t hoard everything out of the stores. “
Pace wants to remind the public if you have developed flu-like symptoms, do not go to the emergency room.
“Contact your primary physician,” Pace said, “and they’ll set up a test site to come to the clinic to be tested for the coronavirus.”
Watch our full interview with Sheriff Pace on Facebook.