Chemung County Jail COVID-19 outbreak stems from Lighthouse Baptist Church

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – An employee at the Chemung County Jail that has tested positive for COVID-19 is now being linked to the COVID-19 outbreak from the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Horseheads.

According to Chemung County Sheriff Bill Schrom, there was one outstanding test that came back positive yesterday for another inmate at the jail.

There are currently six inmates and four staff members that have tested positive, which brings the total to 10 positive cases at the facility.

“We’ve moved the positive cases to this closed post where they are quarantined and the nursing staff comes in and evaluates the inmate population on that post twice a day. Any new inmate that comes into the facility is immediately quarantined upon completion of their booking process so they’re placed in housing where they are quarantined for a period of 15 days before they are put into regular inmate population,” said Schrom.

As of right now, they are not releasing any information about who the individuals are that have tested positive for COVID-19.

18 News received a tip from a viewer who said that inmates were not able to shower due to the shutdown, but according to Sheriff Schrom, that information is inaccurate and quarantined inmates are allowed out of their cells twice a week to shower.

“We’ve discontinued visits for inmates since March and in the event that an inmate needs to see an attorney for an upcoming hearing, or perhaps a trial, in those cases if they have to meet in person, we do what’s called a non-contact visit, so that attorney would be allowed in the facility they would meet with their client, but there is a physical barrier between the two so that they can communicate verbally, but they are just not in close proximity of one another,” said Schrom.

The Chemung County Health Department is still investigating the COVID-19 cases connected with the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Horseheads.

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