The Forrest County Sheriff’s Office is taking the appropriate precautions to best serve the public while protecting deputies, staff and inmates, according to Sheriff Charlie Sims.
Sims said if a call comes through 911 or dispatch, the caller is asked a series of questions to determine the risk for COVID-19 prior to a deputy responding.
“We’re asking questions, like have you had fever, shortness of breath ... and deputies have masks and gloves,” he said. “We know the importance of being prepared ahead of time.”
At the Forrest County Jail, anyone who is being booked is being asked similar questions. If they’re exhibiting any symptoms, they’re being quarantined and tested, said the sheriff.
“It’s important to note that just because you have symptoms doesn’t mean you have coronavirus,” said Sims.
The department is stocking up on hand sanitizer and disinfectant to keep staff – and inmates – healthy.
“The disinfectant we use ... we spray it, and it dissipates in 10 minutes, so there’s no big process there,” he said.
Sims said the sheriff’s office will continue operating as normal, but any employees who may be sick need to call in and take time off.
The sheriff said he is in good health and is continuing to take precautions to avoid becoming ill.
“I’m washing my hands, taking my vitamins ... practicing good healthy habits,” he said.