A black sign that reads, 'holding cell' posted on a green brick wall with a door beside it.July 8, 2020

WALTON COUNTY, Fla— Results have returned for inmates tested for COVID-19 at the Walton County Jail.

Today, jail administrators received the first round of test results for 58 inmates. Those results revealed 38 positive cases and 20 negative results.

Of those 38 positive cases, 19 are Walton County inmates, 18 are Escambia County housed inmates, and one is a Holmes County inmate.

At this time, 38 test results are still pending results from the Florida Department of Health.

This morning, based on previous health conditions and symptoms exhibited at the jail, the Chief Health Officer made the decision to have one inmate transported to a local hospital.

“We have set our plan in motion to isolate and contain the spread inside our facility,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “This protocol has been vetted to maintain the care and control of inmates while also protecting our staff.”

On Thursday, July 2nd, a male inmate was identified as having a temperature higher than the alert threshold (100.4°F) set in place by WCSO’s Incident Action Plan. This prompted immediate temperature testing of the entire inmate population.

Since that time, each inmate exhibiting symptoms has been monitored by medical staff and movement has been restricted inside the jail. All inmates have been issued protective face coverings and staff are taking additional precautions while working in affected housing areas.

“Now that we have results, we will continue our mission to care for each inmate based on his or her health needs while making sure our staff continues to have adequate personal protection equipment,” said Adkinson.

Thursday, Walton County Sheriff’s Office will be setting up a hotline for inmate families to call for information.

“We anticipated and prepared for this scenario,” said Sheriff Adkinson. “Now we are executing that plan.”