MANCHESTER – The Hillsborough County House of Corrections, also known as Valley Street Jail, reported on Tuesday that one employee has tested positive for COVID-19. No inmates have tested positive.
According to Superintendent David Dionne the employee last worked on April 22 on the third shift and the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services was immediately notified.
With the assistance of the Department of Public Health and Manchester Health Department, the facility’s schedules and staffing assignments have been reviewed identifying every physical space that the employee was in and every person the employee encountered during the last time he or she worked, according to Dionne.
Every person who interacted with the employee has been identified and those who were within close physical proximity to be considered at risk of exposure under CDC and state guidelines have been notified and will be quarantined if recommended by those guidelines, according to a press release Tuesday.
The physical spaces visited by the employee have been disinfected and deep cleaned. The Hillsborough County Commissioners are taking seriously the risk posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and is committed to taking every possible measure to protect the safety of county employees, nursing home residents and county jail inmates, the press release stated.
Dionne said the facility has 175 inmates. The capacity is 740. The census is low because of changes such as drug court, mental health court and the high number of drug overdose deaths, Dionne said.
Many drug addicts who were regularly in and out of the jail over the years have died of overdoses, he said.
Dionne said Hillsborough County House of Corrections has as a doctor and a physician’s assistant on call 24 hours a day.
One other county facility, Merrimack County House of Corrections, reported one employee with a positive COVID-19 test late last month, but no inmates.
The state Department of Corrections has reported that 11 staffers have tested positive for COVID-19, but no inmates.