141 detainees at Cook County Jail confirmed positive for COVID-19

Five more sheriff’s office staff members also tested positive, bringing that total to 25.

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A man who escaped from Cook County Jail May 2, 2020, is in custody, authorities said Monday.

The Cook County sheriff’s office announced seven new COVID-19 cases among inmates March 31, 2020, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 141.

Sun-Times file photo

The Cook County sheriff’s office announced Tuesday that seven more detainees at the Cook County Jail have tested positive for the coronavirus, raising the total number of confirmed cases among detainees to 141.

Eleven detainees have tested negative, and 25 staff members have also tested positive, the sheriff’s office said.

The first two cases of COVID-19 were announced March 23. So far, the jail has released at least 400 detainees, as Cook County judges conduct case-by-case bond reviews in an attempt to lower the jail’s population and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Last Thursday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker also issued an executive order halting the transfer of new prisoners to the Illinois Department of Corrections amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Illinois state prisons had already suspended visits to prevent the spread of the virus among guards and inmates.

Health officials on Tuesday announced an additional 937 COVID-19 cases in Illinois, bringing the state’s total to 5,994 cases. So far, 99 people have died from the disease in the state.

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