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Barton County Jail reports COVID-19 cluster

The Barton County Jail will be closed to visitation until further notice after the jail reported a COVID-19 cluster over the weekend.

According to Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir, as of Saturday, the Barton County Jail had experienced a cluster of COVID-19 related illnesses dating back the previous 24 hours, with the virus affecting both staff and inmates. Bellendir said a total of four individuals associated with the facility have tested positive so far. 

As a precaution, effective immediately all visitation has been canceled and the use of inmate workers is suspended. Masks will be required in the lobby of the detention facility. In an effort to prevent the spread of the illness to other divisions of the office, the administrative offices and detective division will be closed to the public effective Monday, Aug. 9. Appointments may be made to conduct necessary business.

“The Sheriff’s Office is making every effort to contain the spread of the virus,” Bellendir said. These measures include mandatory masks inside the facility, disinfectant fogging, universal precautions as well as limiting movement within the jail. We will keep the public informed as the situation develops.”