Milwaukee, WI (March 13, 2020) The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office has been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and preparing contingency plans to safeguard our staff, the persons in our custody, and the facilities we patrol. We are working closely with our public health partners, including the private healthcare provider for the Milwaukee County Jail, to ensure that our protocols conform to national, state, and local best practices for infectious disease control.
Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas stated, “The COVID-19 virus is one of the most pressing and urgent challenges the Sheriff’s Office and our community face. Our response to it is dependent on all our medical, public safety and governmental officials and the community partnering to stem the spread of the virus. During this time, we ask everyone to follow current best practices pertaining to social distancing and personal hygiene to help keep our community safe.”
The Sheriff’s Office has aggressively enforced internal social distancing measures, including suspending face-to-face meetings and large gatherings, and restricted all non-essential access to the Milwaukee County Jail. This restriction includes the temporary suspension of professional contact visits within the jail facility. Attorneys who need to visit their clients can still do so, using booths equipped for non-contact visits. As public visitation is conducted through a video visitation system, families with loved ones in the jail will not need to change their visiting practices. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office and the jail healthcare provider have implemented a detailed three-phase strategy for infectious disease prevention, containment, and mitigation.
The Patrol Services Bureau, which provides primary police services to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, the Milwaukee County Parks, the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, and all interstates in Milwaukee County, has adopted intensive contingency plans for safeguarding our staff and members of the public. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office has implemented agency-wide protocols requiring the frequent and thorough disinfection of all surfaces, vehicles, and equipment.
For more information regarding Wisconsin’s efforts to contain COVID-19, visit the website of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services at dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm. Please follow the Sheriff’s Office on Twitter and Facebook for additional updates.