Benton County jail reports more COVID-19 cases

KNWA

Jenkins told KNWA/KFTA there are more positive cases, but they don't have the exact number yet, which is something many with loved ones inside the jail feared would happen.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Family members of Benton County inmates fear for their loved one’s safety after reports of COVID-19 within the jail walls.

On Monday, June 15, both a staff member and an inmate tested positive for COVID-19, according to Lt. Shannon Jenkins with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Jenkins told KNWA/KFTA there are more positive cases, but they don’t have the exact number yet, which is something many with loved ones inside the jail feared would happen.

KNWA/KFTA spoke with Deborah Moreland, whose son is an inmate at the Benton County Detention Center.

She said he called her on Tuesday, June 16, saying he and at least 15 others tested positive.

I am a 68-year-old mother, who doesn’t know if my son is going to come home and it’s upsetting.

DEBORAH MORELAND, SON’S IN BENTON COUNTY JAIL

Moreland said she’s concerned for her son because he’s not in good health.

He claims the Benton County Sheriff’s Office isn’t taking the right precautions to ensure inmates and staff are protected from the virus.

“I think Benton County needs to get its act together before a bunch of those inmates die from this because there are several of them that have it,” Moreland said.

Lt. Jenkins disputes that claim and said the Sheriff’s Office has been following Arkansas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

She said every inmate and employee is currently being tested by the ADH.

The first positive case was discovered over the weekend.

Both of the people who tested positive were asymptomatic — meaning they weren’t showing any symptoms.

As on June 16, Lt. Jenkins said there was no more additional information to be released at this time.

Stay with KNWA/KFTA as we continue to follow this story.

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