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DeKalb Sheriff says jail is prepared in case coronavirus spreads in the county

'Well-equipped to handle any medical crisis that may arise inside this facility,' the sheriff said.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said the jail is well-prepared in the event of the spread of coronavirus in the county.

"We are prepared and well-equipped to handle any medical crisis that may arise inside this facility, including the spread of the newest infectious disease, coronavirus," said Maddox during a news conference Wednesday.

She said that medical screenings are not new for the medical staff at the jail.

"Routine screenings are conducted for tuberculosis, influenza, HIV and ebola," she said. "Additional screenings are applied as deemed prudent."

Maddox emphasized that the jail already has six isolation cells in place -- four for male inmates and two for females. Any individuals requiring a high-level quarantine status would be transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta or other designated facilities as needed.

As of this point, only two confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in Georgia -- both in Fulton County.

The two cases involve a father and son in the same family. Their family also includes a wife and second child who have been described as "slightly symptomatic" and are being monitored, according to officials.

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Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said that both the father and son have been isolated at home to prevent the illness from spreading beyond their family unit.

“We knew that Georgia would likely have confirmed cases of COVID-19, and we planned for it. The immediate risk of COVID-19 to the general public, however, remains low at this time,” Toomey said.

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