Sheriff’s Office impacted by COVID-19


By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com



SIDNEY — Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart reported Tuesday morning — during his weekly interview — that seven of his employees are either in quarantine or have COVID-19.

Lenhart said this is impacting 11% of his staff of 80 people.

“Jim (Frye) and I are looking at at alternate shifts,” said Lenhart. “We have inmates that we have to go pick up from different states.”

Lenhart said every division — corrections, road deputies and the animal shelter — is being impacted by the virus.

“But no inmates have been infected,” said Lenhart. “This is a burden as we’re losing each person for two weeks. Then hopefully everybody gets OK.”

Lenhart said the department is using its reserve deputies to help fill in.

“We’re not operating as usual,” said Lenhart.

Lenhart said most of those affected were exposed by a family member or friend who has the virus.

“We’re protecting the workplace,” said Lenhart. “by quarantining new inmates, by wearing masks, disinfecting several times a day and practicing social distancing.

“They were all off duty when they were around someone with the virus,” said Lenhart. “For our sake, we ask the citizens to watch what they’re doing out there. The health department is seeing an increase of positive cases.”

While many people feel the virus doesn’t exist, Lenhart said, “with seven officers off, this is my reality and it’s not fake news.”

By Melanie Speicher

mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822