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STOMACH FLU OUTBREAK LEADS TO QUARANTINE OF JAIL DIVISION

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart has ordered a quarantine of Division II at the Cook County Jail after detainees have come down with the stomach flu.

The quarantine will remain in place until further notice. Detainees housed in the affected unit are under limited movement, and visitation is not allowed.

The division’s living, dining, shower, toilet, and all high touch surface areas are being disinfected. Linens have been changed and are being laundered separately.

Many of the detainees in the affected unit participate in our work programs within the jail and outside of the jail. Many of the affected detainees work in the jail’s kitchen and assist in transporting meals. As a result of the quarantine, they will not be able to participate in those programs. Additional staff may be needed to cover food transportation and cleaning responsibilities if the outbreak continues to other divisions.

Division II staff is being closely monitored to ensure exposure to affected detainees is limited. Other concerns include preparing for an outbreak within staff and adding detainees to an already crowded jail. Both of these concerns have potential to add overtime costs. Because of these concerns, additional measures are being taken at the jail to prevent the virus from spreading further.

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