The Racine County Sheriff’s Office has been COVID-19-free for 18 days, officials said in a press release issued Friday.

That includes jail staff, contractors, volunteers, and inmates, according to the release. Public-facing sheriff’s office staff have been COVID-free for 42 days, according to the release.

Jails and prisons report a higher infection rate for COVID-19. Jails have also been a higher source of community spread. That is because people rotate in and out of jail daily.

The Racine County Jail averages about 600 inmates per day. An additional 150 staff, contractors, and visitors pass through the facility daily, with 150 sheriff’s deputies and support staff traveling through the jail. The facility sees about 900 people pass through its doors each day, according to the release.

The sheriff’s office has been operating under COVID-19 protocols since February 2020, and the weekend marks the first anniversary since the protocols started.

The protocols include:

  • Reducing the jail’s population by 250 inmates
  • Reconfiguring closed floors to allow for 50 quarantine beds in negative air pressure conditions
  • Mandating temperature checks and face masks for anyone entering the facility
  • Coming up with secure bonds to reduce the population
  • Having inmate sew masks for use inside the facility
  • Five-times-per day sanitation of the facility’s perimeter and common areas
  • Using a UV sanitation robot to disinfect rooms

As of Friday afternoon, two jail staff or contractors were awaiting test results, and two inmates were awaiting testing results, according to the website.

“I look forward to getting back to a normal life and respectfully ask that we all continue to exercise basic common sense while at work, school, church, and socializing,” Sheriff Christopher Schmaling wrote in the press release.

A complete list of protection measures and frequently asked questions is available at www.racinecounty.com/departments/sheriff-s-office/jail-division/covic-19-safety-plan-and-dashboard.


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