PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment announced the COVID-19 outbreak at the Pueblo County Jail has been officially resolved effective Tuesday, July 20. The outbreak had initially been reported in October of 2020.
The announcement came after reporting no new cases of COVID-19 among inmates or employees during the past 28 days.
In November 2020, the sheriff's office confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak was reported following employees and inmates testing positive for the virus. At the height of the outbreak, according to the sheriff's office, 86% of Pueblo County Jail inmates tested positive for COVID-19.
In an effort to curb the outbreak, a court order allowed law enforcement discretion in whether to arrest or issue citations for individuals involved in certain civil, traffic, or misdemeanor offenses. The sheriff's office said this helped decrease the inmate population.
According to the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, other precautions were taken, including testing employees and inmates at least once a week, wearing facial coverings, and ongoing sanitization throughout the facility.
In June, the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office and the County Health Department joined FEMA to allow inmates to voluntarily receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
In total, 178 inmates received the vaccine. Sheriff's employees were also able to receive the vaccine.
“We have been working hard for the past 8 ½ months to contain the spread of the virus in our jail. The diligent work by
employees and inmates who have undergone weekly testing, ongoing sanitizing to the facility, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated has helped us finally put an end to this outbreak,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor.
With the outbreak official cleared, Taylor said beneficial inmate programs that were suspended can now resume.