Correctional Health Care Services Preparing For Potential COVID-19 Cases In Maricopa County Jails

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 8:39am
Updated: Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 8:40am

Lower Buckeye Jail
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
A long corridor at the Lower Buckeye Jail.

Maricopa County has announced measures being taken in its jails to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Friday, 28 incarcerated patients have been tested, 21 were negative and seven tests are pending.

Dr. Grant Phillips is the medical director for Correctional Health Services, the department responsible for care in county jails. He said when an inmate is identified to have COVID-19 symptoms, the patient is moved to one of several medical observation units.

“CHS staff will be doing temperature checks, daily on these individuals as well as checking for symptoms — cough, shortness of breath and their overall clinical status,” Phillips said.

Phillips said testing will also be conducted in the units, and there are enough COVID-19 tests to monitor the jail population.

A spokesman for the county said the daily jail population has decreased in recent weeks from approximately 7,500 to around 5,500 inmates.

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