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Southern Regional Jail responds to rise in cases

BEAVER, W.Va. (WVVA) There were new developments Thursday regarding a rise in cases at Southern Regional Jail (SRJ).

According to a spokesperson for the regional jail authority, Lawrence Messina, five staff members and three inmates have tested positive for the virus. While one inmate has recovered, he said two cases are still active and eleven tests are pending.

Messina said the "DCR will follow the guidance of DHHR, its Bureau for Public Health, the local health departments and the facility medical providers. As a result, it would again pursue enhanced testing at part or all of a facility if that is the guidance."

As for pre-trial defendants, he said "the W.Va. Supreme Court provided guidance earlier in the pandemic that called on judicial officers to consider personal recognizance or reduced bond for "any pre-trial individuals who do not constitute a public safety risk." However, SRJ's population is now higher than it was when that guidance was issued in March, and the portion of SRJ inmates who are awaiting trial remains at 58 percent."

Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

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