Sheriff's Office

For Immediate Release

PR #: 2000148
Date Issued: Oct 21, 2020 - 4:16pm

Washoe County Detention Facility sees increase in COVID-19 cases

CONTACT: Sarah Johns
911 Parr Blvd
Reno, NV. 89512
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office today reported that 11 inmates and 5 personnel are currently positive for COVID-19.

"The health and safety of every member of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office family, as well as the inmates, remain my number one priority," said Sheriff Darin Balaam. "As such, we have placed the Detention Facility in lockdown to conduct contact tracing throughout the facility. Within the past 48 hours we have tested 276 inmates and 16 employees for the novel coronavirus and will continue to test as necessary. New mandates have immediately been put in place to ensure the welfare of everyone within the Facility as well as members of the public who are conducting business here."

Mandates within the Detention Facility include:

  • All staff are required to wear masks throughout the Detention Facility.
  • All visiting, transports, and programs are suspended with exceptions to emergency transports outside the facility.
  • All inmates are required to wear masks any time they are out of their cells.
  • Tier time must be limited to ensure inmates can maintain social distancing.

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on October 20, 2020 an inmate worker who helps clean the Facility reported to work. As part of their daily routine, their temperature was checked. The inmate had a 102-degree fever and had not reported it. In speaking with the inmate, the inmate further advised that last week the inmate's roommate did not feel well and had, apparently, also failed to report.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office continues to sanitize the building and work with the Washoe County Health District for further investigation, including identifying areas within the Facility where the inmate worker has been.

As is the case at any time, a Sheriff's Office employee can be tested for COVID-19 upon request. Additionally, as a result of the increase in cases the Sheriff's Office has set up two asymptomatic COVID-19 testing clinics for employees of the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office is prepared to take any additional steps deemed appropriate by the Washoe County Health District.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.