Large portion of detention center inmates sick

HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT)– A large number of inmates at the Henderson County jail are sick with what jail officials are saying is similar to a stomach virus. They say symptoms started Friday night.

Storms over the weekend knocked out power to the Henderson County Detention Center and not long after learning this jail staff discovered an illness was rapidly moving through their facility.

Sick and behind bars. Officials with the Henderson Country Detention Center say around 200 of the 700 people in their custody are sick with what they’re saying are symptoms similar to a stomach virus. But it’s not clear what exactly it is.

“He doesn’t have it, but he’s exposed to it. and no one wants their loved ones sick,” Holly Abell says.

Family members of inmates like Holly Abell say that’s one of the unsettling parts.

“We don’t know what it is, and how bad, it could be a major virus. they could have anything.”

Abell’s fiancé has been in the facility since the end of September. She says she wants to make sure he’s going to be okay.

Henderson County Jailer Amy Brady says they have tested for things like the flu. Those tests came back negative. Water and ventilation were also tested. Those also came back fine.

Those with symptoms were separated from those without. Abell says she appreciates that.

“It does make me feel better that they’re separating them but we don’t know if it’s continuing to spread or not,” Abell says. “He said they are still going around and asking people ‘are you sick?’ ‘are you having any of these symptoms?’ so if they are they can move them to the quarantine side.”

Jail officials say they still don’t know what’s caused the illness but tests are still being done to figure that out.

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(This story was originally published on January 12, 2020)

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