Yellowstone County jail worker, 2 healthcare workers test positive for COVID-19

3 cases were reported Thursday
Posted at 4:20 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 18:40:42-04

A Yellowstone County jail worker and two healthcare workers were the three Thursday positive tests for COVID-19, officials announced Friday.

The detention officer posted notice of the positive test and called in sick for his shift that was to start Thursday night, Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said in a news release.

He last worked at the detention center on Sunday, March 15, Linder said.

Another officer was sent home by supervisors after having a cough Thursday morning. He has taken a COVID-19 test but has not received the results, Linder said.

The two healthcare workers contracted the disease while outside their work, Yellowstone County Health Officer John Felton said at a Friday news conference.

He added that these two workers may have been exposed at a Montana Board of Regents meeting on March 5 in Dillon, where others have reported contracting the disease, including Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian.

Yellowstone County has five reported cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

This is a developing story.

Here is Linder's full news release:

The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office received information that a detention officer posted a notice on social media that the officer recently tested positive for COVID-19. This same officer had contacted the detention facility, calling-in sick for his shift that was to begin the evening of March 19. Once confirmed, the sheriff’s office contacted the Public Health Office and has been working with them and following their guidance to determine what steps need to be taken to protect the detention facility. According to the detention schedule and confirmed by detention staff, the detention officer in question last worked at the facility on March 15, 2020. This detention officer has not been back to the facility since this date.

Another detention officer, shortly after the start of the officer’s shift the morning of Thursday, March 19, 2020 was sent home by jail commanders due to having a cough. According to this detention officer, he has since been tested for the COVID-19 virus. According to the officer, the results of the test will not be known for several days. This officer has not been back to the facility since being sent home.”