The Cook County sheriff’s office announced announced Wednesday that 26 more detainees at Cook County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19, raising the number of confirmed cases among detainees to 167.
Twelve detainees diagnosed with the disease have been hospitalized, the sheriff’s office said. Additionally, 34 staff members have also tested positive.
The first two cases of COVID-19 were announced March 23. So far, the jail has released at least 400 detainees, as Cook County judges conduct case-by-case bond reviews in an attempt to lower the jail’s population and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Last Thursday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker also issued an executive order halting the transfer of new prisoners to the Illinois Department of Corrections amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Illinois state prisons had already suspended visits to prevent the spread of the virus among guards and inmates.
Illinois health officials on Wednesday announced 968 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total to 6,980. So far, 141 people have died from the coronavirus in Illinois.