AUGUSTA — The Kennebec County commissioners met virtually Tuesday for the first time in months to avoid the possibility of spreading COVID-19.

Patsy Crockett, chairwoman of the commissioners, said she made the decision to help keep people safe. The decision comes as hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Maine reached an all-new high, while the new omicron variant of the coronavirus fuels a surge in cases across the world.

“With everything I’m seeing on TV, on Facebook and in the paper, I thought we would do well with Zoom,” Crockett said.

Last month, a COVID-19 outbreak at the Kennebec County jail prompted Sheriff Ken Mason to impose a limit on who could be brought to the jail in Augusta. He stressed that people arrested on charges of serious crimes are still being brought to the jail.

Two weeks ago, no jail staff attended the commissioners meeting to prevent the possibility of spreading COVID-19 as the outbreak in the jail was winding down.

At Tuesday’s virtual meeting, Lt. Corey Goodchild said three inmates tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and an additional five in the same housing unit have also tested positive. Those inmates have been isolated and the remainder are in quarantine.

“I feel pretty confident that we have this isolated to one unit,” Goodchild said. “Hopefully in 14 days, we can open back up.”

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