A sixth staffer at the Bristol County House of Corrections has tested positive for COVID-19.

The corrections officer becoming ill in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 19 during a third-shift assignment in a control room and promptly left the workplace, according to a media release from the Office of Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. The officer received a COVID-19 test on that day and was informed of a positive result on Monday.

Hodgson's office said a nurse, K9 officer and a corrections officer have "fully recovered and returned to duty." A mental health professional and two corrections officers are reportedly "expected to make full recoveries and return to duty soon."

Hodgson continues to assert that no person incarcerated within a Bristol County corrections facility has tested positive for the virus and says that eight symptomatic prisoners have tested negative.

The sheriff's office says it has instituted protocols to prevent the spread of the virus. All employees must wear face masks within the facility's secure perimeter, all areas of the facility are being cleaned and disinfected on every shift, all staff members are being screened before entering any building, and new arriving inmates are being screened before being accepted into custody, the media release said. In addition, in-person visitation has been suspended.

The news comes as a federal judge continues to order or consider the release of dozens of ICE detainees held at the Bristol County House of Corrections to reduce overcrowding during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hodgson has vigorously opposed any such release, and on social media has posted descriptions of serious crimes that some of the civil detainees have committed or been accused of committing.

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