The Faribault County Sheriff’s Department has taken steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus into its jail.
“New people being booked are having their temperature taken and they are getting a COVID-19 screening,” says Chief Deputy Scott Adams.
Some law enforcement agencies around the state have curtailed making arrests for low-level offenses.
In most cases, the crimes are misdemeanors and some DUIs that now result in a citation and the person not being held.
“Arrests are still being made for violent and assault behavior, like domestic situations,” says Adams. “It’s people that may present an imminent threat to public safety.”
“Non-violent offenders will be issued a citation. It’s not going to turn into the Wild West of there,” he adds.
Because the way the law enforcement center was designed, says Adams, inmates are able to be segregated and quarantined if necessary.
For now, inmates are not being allowed to have visitors and staff are sanitizing the entire building two times a day.
“All outside contact by the inmates has been halted,” says Adams.
Other measures have been taken to prevent possible exposure to the virus or its spreading.
Faribault County District Court is holding limited court hearings during the next two weeks and county commissioners held an emergency meeting by telephone on March 18.
The County Board declared a state of emergency for 30 days which could be extended if needed.
Commissioners also are limiting entrance into county buildings by locking down all facilities until further notice. Public access is being allowed for specific reasons only.
Anyone having questions may contact the various departments by going to the county’s website at www.co.faribault.mn.us.