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Madison officials ask jail inmates with COVID-19 be moved to health care system

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Dane County Jail

MADISON (WKOW) -- Several city of Madison elected officials wrote a public letter to Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney asking him to transfer jail inmates diagnosed with COVID-19 to the local healthcare system.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and several alders signed the letter published Tuesday on the city's website.

"We write to you today to request that incarcerated individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 be placed in our local healthcare system for quarantine and proper treatment," they said.

The letter acknowledged racial inequities leading to "disproportionate incarceration of Black and Brown people." This same group, according to the letter and health officials, has experienced higher rates of COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths.

"Given the unknowns of the coronavirus, it is essential that these individuals be placed in quarantine, in an appropriate care setting, and given the resources to fully recover," the alders and mayor wrote.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office has taken several measures to contain outbreaks of COVID-19 in its jail. Those included UV light sterilization and isolating inmates confirmed through testing to have the disease.

Yet, testing has confirmed COVID-19 infections in dozens of inmates. In mid-May, the sheriff's office said one inmate had hidden symptoms and infected 32 others.

JT Cestkowski

Social Media Content Producer/Desk Editor

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