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Dartmouth jail exceeds 100 COVID-19 cases

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Courtesy Jonathan Darling, Bristol County Sheriff's Office
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Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth

In an outbreak that began in late October, 78 people incarcerated and 23 staff at the Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth have tested positive for COVID-19.

Last month, one person incarcerated at the facility was hospitalized after testing positive, before returning to the jail the following day.

Many of the infections occurred in a group bunk unit, which includes dozens of beds spaced about three feet apart.

Cyrus Melo tested positive while he was detained in the group unit, where he says he was wary of the tight quarters. “I was not comfortable with it, because there were people just walking around and coughing and just not caring.”

Melo says he was transferred from the group unit to a solitary cell five hours after he tested positive last Friday. He reports experiencing mild symptoms that have since resolved.

Multiple other people incarcerated in the group bunk unit have told CAI they believe the health and safety protocols at the jail are not sufficient to limit the spread of the virus.

Every person incarcerated receives two masks upon entering the jail, and anyone who tests positive is moved into “medical isolation,” according to Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson.

A spokesperson for the sheriff says he has no plans to alter COVID-19 protocols at the jail.

Earlier reporting on this story:

As Dartmouth jail exceeds 50 COVID cases, some allege lax response by sheriff

Dozens of inmates test positive for COVID-19 at Dartmouth Jail

Daniel covers the South Coast for WCAI. He comes to the station from Minnesota Public Radio, where he reported on science and the environment. Daniel has produced audio documentaries on a motley mix of topics, from the science of sewage to the history of automobile license plates. He holds a PhD in climate change ecology from the University of Minnesota. Daniel is a 2021-22 Report For America corps member.