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Photos Jason Huynh

There has been a saying during the COVID-19 pandemic that says, ‘by staying apart, we’re working together,’ meaning social distancing is helping prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease. You have to wonder through all of this, are they okay at the Floyd County Jail, their safety is the most significant concern.

“Those who are incarcerated are just as at risk of exposure as anyone else due to medical staff and officers entering and exiting the building. You then have new people arrested daily, which presents more of a the of exposure to an illness to those already there”, says Sharon Aker, a nurse at the Floyd County Jail. “Even though inmates are locked up, they are still entitled to the same risk reduction, the same treatment, and the same consideration as those on the outside. We provide that, with care.”

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Sharon Aker

That risk reduction is there because everyone entering the jail is screened every day to ensure there are no symptoms or signs of the COVID-19. There also has always been a regularly performed process for inmates entering the jail as standard practice. “Before an inmate is booked into the jail, they are screened by medical, to ensure that they are medically fit for jail, and that has been the process before the Coronavirus Pandemic,” says Mrs. Aker. “If there is any indication that a person is not medically fit for jail, they can be refused for admission, and an officer takes them to the hospital for medical clearance.”

The jail has supplies that it needs, hand sanitizers, sanitizer spray, soap, and medical masks, which are now a requirement for everyone on the premises, staff, and inmates. The Floyd County Jail also has a caring medical team that understands the need for their services. 

“As a nurse, I take pride in my job, and during these trying times, while possibly encountering this global pandemic, even back when things were normal, we have the duty of doing our jobs as skilled, professional nurses,” says Mrs. Aker with a smile.