TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — Five Tarrant County Jail inmates and one staff member have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.

In a statement released by Sheriff Bill Waybourn, two inmates received positive test results last weekend and three more inmates have tested positive since then.

Waybourn said all five inmates are in quarantine and are “doing well and being cared for by JPS medical staff.” All other inmate tests have returned negative.

TCSO also had a team member test positive for COVID-19 this week. They said that member has not been at work since Apr. 6 and are the only jail personnel to test positive so far.

Since Tarrant County initiated protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the sheriff’s office said there has been “an abundance of caution taken in the jail facilities to prevent the spread of the illness.”

Several areas within the jail will remain on quarantine status until all inmates are confirmed coronavirus free. As of this week, it is now mandatory that face masks been worn by anyone entering the jail facilities, including staff.

“We firmly believe that the dedication to professionalism and adherence to the directions being given to curtail the influence of an active COVID-19 case are what has kept us ahead of the curve and will ensure that we successfully conquer this pandemic. We will continue to provide verified information as soon as it is made available and properly vetted. The safety and the well-being of our team-members and the inmates we are housing will remain a top priority, and we must all work together to get through this.”

COVID-19 causes respiratory illness with cough, fever and shortness of breath, and may lead to bronchitis and severe pneumonia. All residents should continue to practice the following preventive measures to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • If you do go out, wear a mask or scarf to cover your mouth and nose.
  • Practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others when you are out.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you experience difficulty breathing, or persistent fever, call your primary care provider.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces.

For more information, go to coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com or call the Tarrant County Public Health information line at 817-248-6299.