FARMINGTON — The Franklin County jail returned to normal operations Wednesday, more than two weeks after a COVID-19 outbreak forced it to close to all except those considered a public safety risk.

Franklin County Detention Center

Some inmates were taken to Somerset County Jail in Madison, which has a quarantine section. They were brought back Wednesday, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said.

Four inmates stayed at the Franklin County jail following the Jan. 18 closure.

“During our shutdown we hired a professional cleaning company to come in and disinfect the entire facility,” Nichols said. “Hopefully we will be good to go for a while.”

Four staff members tested positive prior for the virus, which prompted the closure.

In all, 10 staff, including a medical worker, tested positive along with two inmates who stayed at the jail, the sheriff said. The facility has a quarantine section. Two other staff members were sent home because of close contact with someone who tested positive or had underlying medical conditions, he said.

“We didn’t want to risk it,” Nichols said. Testing was done weekly and that is how the positive cases were identified.

“Everyone is now clear,” Nichols said.

Law enforcement agencies either issued summonses to people who didn’t fit the mandatory arrest or public safety risk or they were arrested and released on bail from individual stations.


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