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Planning underway to vaccinate Sumter inmates

The process to vaccinate inmates at the Sumter County jail against COVID-19 is now underway for those who want the shot.

SUMTER, S.C. — The process to vaccinate inmates at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center against the coronavirus is now underway.

According to Sumter County Sheriff’s Spokesperson Adrienne Sarvis, medical staff at the jail have been working with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to plan for the shots.

“We’re in the beginning stages of doing that and also in the process of getting a list of names of inmates who would be interested in getting the vaccine,” Deputy Sarvis said. “We’re unsure of what exactly which vaccine we would be getting right now.”

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Right now, Sarvis said, detention officers who choose are receiving vaccinations from community providers, separate from the jail. It’s unclear if they will be given the option to be vaccinated through the jail once shots are available.

While the planning process continues, safety measures are still in place for inmates and staff.

Credit: Kayland Hagwood
Deputy Adrienne Sarvis

“Once a person is actually brought to the detention center, medical staff will meet them, their temperatures will be checked, they’ll be given a mask and, once they’re actually booked in, they’ll be separated from the open population for about 14 days,” Deputy Sarvis said.

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Once they completed the two-week quarantine period, Sarvis said they’re eligible to join others in the facility with testing and sanitation happening regularly.

According to Sarvis, nine inmates have tested positive and 27 detention officers since the start of the pandemic.