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March 17
​WCSO Activates Action Plan to Address COVID-19 Pandemic

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker announced today that precautions are in place at the Wake County Detention Center (WCDC) to aid in protecting staff and residents from COVID-19.

“For the past several weeks, we began to develop a plan to address concerns about coronavirus in our facility. The plan includes increased medical screenings, increased education and awareness for our detention officers and increased efforts to sanitize, both, public and secure areas of the facility.”

Earlier today Sheriff Baker and members of the WCDC medical staff shared details of the plan with Wake County partners, including, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway, Chief District Court Judge Robert Rader, Sam Pennica, Director of City County Bureau of Identification (CCBI), Wake County Chief Magistrate Chris Graves and staff from the Wake District Attorney and Clerk’s Offices.

The plan, which will be shared with all Wake County law enforcement agencies, begins before the arrestee is brought into the facility.

Under the plan, area law enforcement agencies are urged to follow an updated screening process, which includes asking the arrestee if they have traveled out the United States in the past 14 days and if they’ve been in contact with someone with, or suspected of, having COVID-19.

“Our detention medical staff has always been proactive in screening arrestees who may have an infectious disease,” Sheriff Baker said. “With the help our law enforcement partners, we hope these additional steps help to reduce exposure to the virus while having a plan in place should symptoms appear.”

The WCSO has also revised the booking procedure, with assistance from CCBI and the Magistrate’s Office, to safely process an infected arrestee without compromising the safety of officers or other residents.

The WCDC is equipped with four negative pressure rooms that are designed to house an infected resident, while preventing the virus from spreading into the main ventilation system.

All members of the Sheriff’s Office are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines by:

  • Washing hands regularly and staying home if they are sick
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then disposing the tissue
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces

The Sheriff’s Office continues to evaluate the option of limiting jail visits and has postponed the issuance of new concealed carry permits as a result of CCBI’s decision to temporarily halt fingerprinting services to the public, effective immediately.


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