BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio -- Coronavirus concerns have jails making drastic changes after at least half a dozen cases were reported in one Ohio county alone.
- Butler County sheriff started letting non-violent inmates out and no visitors are allowed in.
- Deputies getting full protective gear in case they have to respond to a COVID-19 case
- Officers are taking many other reports over the phone
The sheriff has been doing online updates every day this week, saying he's not taking any chances.
“We’re fitting people today with masks,” said Butler County Sheriff Robert Jones.
He says deputies will respond to coronavirus cases in full protective gear. Any other calls they get, might not even get a physical response.
“We may take some reports by phone, our process servers are serving papers,” said Jones.
Calls and reports that could still put someone in jail, but at the same time, the sheriff is trying to get inmates out.
“We’re not putting dangerous people out in to the community, but we’re trying to get people that are short, getting ready to get out of jail, and we’re trying to get them out, we’re not releasing any people that are unhealthy, so we’re trying to empty the jails out to make space so we can have it and our staff is not worked to death,” said Jones.
He says they’ve also been working with the courts to get low level offenders to the judge instead of waiting in a holding cell or lobby that they’ve been trying to keep clear too.
“We’ve closed the visitations down in the jail,” said Jones.
All an effort to try and prevent any more coronavirus cases.
Police, fire, and several other first responders are getting that full protective gear to use if they have to respond to more COVID-19 cases as well.
For the latest updates go to: coronavirus.gov.