Osage County jail employee has positive COVID-19 test

Robert Smith Pawhuska

Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden said Wednesday that he learned Tuesday night a county jail staff member had tested positive for COVID-19.

“As soon as we got that word, we contacted our medical staff,” he said.

Virden said he did not know of anyone else among his staff members or inmates at the jail being sick, but he intended to have tests conducted for COVID-19.

Health department personnel would test employees in a drive-through setting, and the jail medical staff would test inmates, Virden said.

There were about 60 inmates and 25 employees to be tested, he said. He explained the employee figure included jail staff members and two deputies who had contact with the COVID-positive staffer when booking prisoners.

The detention officer who tested positive has not been at work since last week, Virden said. That person wore a mask and gloves, per policy, when booking prisoners, Virden said.

He said health department personnel felt the chances were low that others had been exposed to COVID-19, but he wanted to make certain whether anyone else had contracted it.