MORRISTOWN, NJ -  One officer at the Morris County Correctional Facility has tested positive for COVID-19, announced the sheriff's office in a press release. The officer is now self-isolating and ultraviolet light cleansing and special cleaning was done in the facility, said the sheriff's office.

All employees at the county jail were required to begin taking their own temperatures prior to signing in to work, on Monday. On March 20, one officer reported a slight fever, the release said. The officer went home told to self-quarantine and notify his doctor. Today, the officer received confirmation he was positive for the COVID-19 virus.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer, wishing for a speedy and full recovery,’’said Sheriff James Gannon.

Sign Up for Roxbury Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

In response to the positive test, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Group and the Morris County Office of Emergency Management performed an ultraviolet cleaning of various office areas at the Correctional Facility, to further enhance stringent cleaning procedures already in place, they said.

The following steps are being taken at the correctional facility:

  • All employees who may be ill have been asked not to report to work, to help avoid a transfer of the illness to staff and inmates;
  • Staff has been reminded that use of antipyretic medications and over-the-counter cough, respiratory or flu medications should not be used if an employee is not feeling well. These medications may mask symptoms of the virus and will not prevent spread of infection to others if an employee using such medications is infected with COVID-19.
  • Staff has been asked to increase hand washing, observe respiratory etiquette, social distancing (where and when possible) in and outside the facility and minimizing contact with unclean hands to the face, eyes, mouth and nose, which remain an important tool in preventing infection.
  • Staff also has been asked to help with monitor colleagues and inmates for visible signs of respiratory ailments and report such observations.

“It is increasingly clear that law enforcement, which must have some personal contact with the public, is at a greater risk of contracting the virus,’’ said Gannon. “The Morris County Sheriff’s Office will continue to do everything within its power to mitigate the spread of the virus and do all that is possible to keep staff and inmates safe in these unprecedented times.’’

Inmates are being pre-screened for fever upon admission to the facility, and whenever they are moved within the jail, explained Morris County Undersheriff Alan Robinson.

Temperature checks are being conducted daily on all inmates in all new admission housing units. Should an inmate show signs such as a fever over 100.4, or shortness of breath, dry cough and other signs of possible illness, they are medically evaluated and if a medical necessity exists, placed into isolation until a medical examination can take place, said the department.