BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — On August 17 and 18, an inmate who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 was accidentally transported from the Brazos County Detention Center to the courthouse.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the inmate was showing symptoms on August 8, and received positive results for COVID-19 on August 11. On the morning of August 17, the inmate no longer had a fever or was showing symptoms.
The Sheriff's Office said that "due to a ‘break down’ in internal communications, the inmate was mistakenly transported to court on Monday and Tuesday without notification to the court." However, once the mistake was realized, the Sheriff's Office said they immediately notified the Judge of the Court.
A second inmate was also transported with the COVID-19 positive inmate on August 18, but the Sheriff's Office asserts that the inmate and deputy were following health procedures and wearing personal protective equipment.
"We failed," said Sheriff Kirk. "We didn't follow communication process very well."
According to Kirk, the Transport Division was not aware that the inmate was in an isolation tank, so they followed normal procedures and took him to his court hearing.
"We've now fixed the problem, any of our isolation tanks will now be labeled as such... and a list of [those who've] tested positive will be sent to transport so that they can compare any transport orders... we fixed the problem, unfortunately we had to learn a lesson in doing so."
The Sheriff's Office plans to continue following their response plan and take safety precautions. They've also notified the Brazos County Health District about the potential exposures.