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Inmate at Barton County Jail tests positive
Barton County Jail
The Barton County Jail is among the county agencies dealing with the pandemic. On Saturday, the sheriff's office was notified that an inmate has tested positive for COVID-19. - photo by Great Bend Tribune file photo

The Barton County Sheriff’s Office reports that around 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 29, it was notified by Barton County Health Department of a positive COVID-19 case in the jail.

The test was conducted as part of routine screening before transporting a prisoner to the Kansas Department of Corrections, according to a post on the BCSO website. The inmate had been in the detention center for several months. The inmate was asymptomatic at the time of testing. It is likely there are other inmates who will test positive. All inmates and detention staff are currently being tested by the Barton County Health Department. Isolation and quarantine measures are being instituted within the facility.

Due to the unknown source of the infection, the Sheriff’s Office will discontinue inmate visitation and VIN inspections until further notice.

Sheriff Brian Bellendir said the administrative building will be closed to the general public. Any business with the sheriff’s office can be conducted in the lobby of the jail. “We are taking these precautions for the safety of staff, inmates and the general public,” Bellendir stated.

“I realize this will cause inconvenience for the public. In this instance, I have decided to err on the side of caution and take these measures.”