Southern Ohio Sheriff suspends jail visitations


By Mark Shaffer - The Ironton Tribune, Ohio (TNS)



In light of Ironton Mayor Sam Cramblit’s announcement about the city being in a state of emergency in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said he was no longer allowing inmate visitation until further notice.

“I have decided to suspend all visitation for the prisoners at the jail,” he said. “Because of the state of emergency declared by Gov. DeWine and now, Mayor Cramblit, I feel it is important to limit access to the jail to prevent this virus from entering the jail.”

“We are taking all the precautions we can in an environment where you have multiple people in,” Lawless said.

He said that the jail is already testing prisoners before they are put into the jail to make sure they don’t have a fever and if they have an elevated temperature, the arresting officer takes the prisoner to a doctor to get medical clearance.

“If an inmate is coming back from court or from another jail, same testing,” he said. “We look at their temperature and any medical problem and sending them for a test.”

He also said there is a nurse on duty who monitors inmate health.

Lawless said the staff is taking extra cleaning precautions.

“They are wiping down doors, spraying disinfectants and antibacterial sprays that we are getting from various companies to try to alleviate any problem that may happen,” Lawless said. “We are certainly in a position where we deal with multiple people and we are taking all the precautions we can.”

There have been four confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ohio.

The Lawrence County Health Department has investigated four coronavirus cases in Lawrence County. Three cases came back negative and they are waiting for the results of the fourth test.

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By Mark Shaffer

The Ironton Tribune, Ohio (TNS)

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