LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – As of Aug. 25, 2021, Troup County has 538 COVID-19 positive cases. Due to the number of cases in the area, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office is reinstating the COVID-19 protocols that were established at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Individuals facing an arrest for offenses like failure to appear in court or probation violations are now being instructed to set another court date instead of being taken to jail.
Stewart Smith, the Public Information Officer for the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, said the Sheriff’s Office decided to implement the COVID-19 protocols after looking at the high number of COVID-19 cases in the area.
“Currently at this time we are restricting or reducing down what we are intaking here at the jail,” said Smith.
Smith said the COVID protocols only apply to minor crimes like failure to appear in court, probation violations or certain driving offenses, violent crimes and felonies will still be taken to jail. The jail currently has about 600 inmates and Smith said the sheriff’s office wants to mitigate any possibility of COVID-19 entering the building.
“We’re just trying to protect them, our inmate population and our jail staff from bringing COVID into the facility,” said Smith.
The Sheriff’s Office also follows certain protocols when bringing an inmate into the jail. Those include, medical screening forms, temperature checks and a 14 day quarantine. Once an inmate completes all the steps and the quarantine, then they are moved into the general area.
Smith said the Sheriff’s Office does not know at this time until when these protocols will be in effect, it is dependent on the number of COVID cases in the community.
“Until that starts to go down we’re just going to keep these measures in place. We’ve also introduced a mask policy here at the Sheriff’s Office for visitors and inmates. We’ve reduced our visitation, we’ve kind of cut that in half and just what we can do on the front end to keep anything from breaking out,” said Smith.