Yellowstone County jail inmate tests positive for COVID-19

Posted at 6:40 PM, May 26, 2020

Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder confirmed Tuesday that a female inmate at the Yellowstone County Detention Center has tested positive for COVID-19.

Linder said that test came back late Tuesday afternoon, but the patient was hospitalized last week.

It's the first known positive COVID-19 at the jail. Health experts have expressed concern about outbreaks in jails because of inmates' close proximity to each other and guards.

In March, a Yellowstone County jailer tested positive for COVID-19 and later recovered. Linder said then that the worker likely contracted the disease while traveling and had little to no contact with other guards or inmates.

Since then, the jail has released some non-violent offenders and conducted screening of inmates to ward against the spread of COVID-19.

Also late Tuesday afternoon,Big Horn County health authorities announced a teenager tested positive Tuesday.

These two cases come after four days of no new confirmed cases across the state, and just one day before a mass drive-through testing campaign kicks off in Crow Agency and Hardin in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.