The Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) continues its efforts to lessen the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on deputies, staff members and inmates under their care.

The Hall County Jail is a focal point for HCSO coronavirus precautions because of the number of individuals housed in close quarters. Like employees at many other detention facilities in the nation, a portion of the HCSO work involved collaborating with local court systems to reduce the inmate population without endangering the public. This involved identifying nonviolent misdemeanor offenders and inmates over the age of 60 who didn’t pose a risk to the community.

Based on court system input, jail personnel began releasing approximately 200 inmates early last week, reducing the inmate population to roughly 500 over a week’s time. Some of the 200 were released as a result of routine bond or time served.

While the effort helps prevent the spread of the virus to jail and court personnel, it’s also out of concern for the health of inmates who must remain in custody, according to a news release.

Prior to the recent action, the HCSO implemented the following measures at the jail:

•On-site visitation with inmates at the jail, to include on-property video visitation, is cancelled until further notice. Online video visitation remains available with information at https://www.hallcountysheriffsoffice.org/jail-division.

•At judges’ discretion, keeping the number of people in the jail courtroom at one time to a minimum.

•Individuals being brought into the jail are screened based on the known symptoms.

•Placing added emphasis on cleaning and sanitizing areas where individuals enter the facility, to include booking, lobby, employee entrance, courtroom and work release area.

•Employees following guidelines from the CDC to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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