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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette FILE PHOTO The exterior of the Washington County jail.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Another 11 detainees at the Washington County Detention Center tested positive for the covid-19 virus, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Kelly Cantrell, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office, said the new positive cases were found when a group of 15 detainees who were in the initial quarantine block were tested Monday. Of those 15 detainees, 11 had positive test results. All of the 11 who tested positive are asymptomatic, according to Cantrell.

The Sheriff's Office has adopted several measures to minimize the spread of the covid-19 virus since the pandemic was declared a health emergency in mid-March, Cantrell said. The measures include placing all new intakes in quarantine for 14 days and then testing them for the virus.

Sheriff Tim Helder said after the initial 14-day quarantine period all detainees now have a second, 14-day quarantine period in another quarantine block. If the detainees show no positive tests at the end of that time they are moved from the second quarantine block into the general population.

"We're trying to be super-cautious because we don't want it moving into the general population areas," Helder said Monday.

The jail population was 405 on Monday.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office reported 189 inmates and 14 employees at the Benton County jail tested positive as of June 22. Lt. Shannon Jenkins, public information officer for the Benton County Sheriff's Office said Monday those numbers haven't changed.

Benton County Judge Barry Moehring said Monday there have been no positive tests among county employees other than those in the Sheriffs Office.

The Washington County Road Department has had a supervisor and one employee test positive for the covid-19 virus. The supervisor reported to the county he tested positive June 22. The Road Department office and the county's planning, environmental and buildings and grounds offices share a building and were all closed for three days, from June 24 through June 26, while 98 employees were tested. The second positive test came from among those 98 employees.

The Road Department and other offices reopened on June 29.

County Attorney Brian Lester said Monday there have been no other positive test results reported among county employees.

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