Coronavirus Spreads Behind Walls of Cook County Jail

Lorraine Swanson

This article originally appeared on the Chicago Patch

COOK COUNTY, IL — Coronavirus continues to spread inside the walls of Cook County Jail, with 89 detainees being tested for the virus after displaying flu-like symptoms, the sheriff’s office said in a daily update.

Nine Cook County Sheriff’s Department employees and 24 detainees have tested positive for the virus, with 63 detainees waiting for test results. Two detainees have tested negative. As of Thursday, the “behind-the-wall” population at Cook County Jail has dipped from 5,306 to 5,185.

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Since the beginning of March, when the first positive case of the coronavirus hit Illinois, the jail’s overall population has decreased by five percent, according to an analysis by Injustice Watch. Most of that change occurred this week, after a Cook County judge ordered bond reviews on a case-by-case basis for non-violent offenders and older detainees with health issues to tamp down the spread of coronavirus within the jail population.

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