Sheriff: No scabies outbreak in county-operated facility - WSMV Channel 4

Sheriff: No scabies outbreak in county-operated facility

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The appearance of scabies on a person's hand. (WSMV File) The appearance of scabies on a person's hand. (WSMV File)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall sent an email to judicial officials to address the outbreak of scabies in county-operated jails.

In the email, Hall said there are rumors that an outbreak has happened in the county-operated facilities similar to the Harding Place facility that houses county prisoners operated by CoreCivic.

“It is common to have a scabies presence in any correctional environment; for example, historically, our facilities average eight cases per month,” Hall wrote in the email. “These cases are identified, treated immediately, and the individual is isolated for 24 hours with restricted movement.”

The email was sent to judges, court employees and the district attorney and public defender's offices.

Hall said jail staff has daily contact with the inmates and the potential for contamination is a constant.

“However, we have no infected employees,” Hall wrote.

Scabies is an itchy, contagious skin condition that is spread by skin to skin contact. Basically, they are mites that crawl under people's skin and lay eggs.

Hundreds of women at the CoreCivic facility are being treated for scabies. There are also several court officials who are being treated. Several court officials have sued CoreCivic as a result.

On Monday, Channel 4 learned that at least two men at the Harding Place facility have scabies. All male inmates and staff are now being treated.

Hall said that “scabies is typically spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies. Contact generally must be prolonged; a quick handshake or hug typically will not spread scabies,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Metro healthcare officials.

Hall said in the email that inmate health care is the responsibility of the Metro Health Department.

“As late as (Monday) afternoon, I spoke with Dr. (Bill) Paul and the jail healthcare administrator,” Hall wrote. “They are both keenly aware of the situation and assured me they are confident in the protocols currently in place. There is no ‘outbreak’ of scabies n our jails and, as mentioned, a healthcare concern we live with daily.”

Hall said should an inmate develop symptoms of scabies, medical staff will follow protocols, which include restricting movement, including to court.

Last week Judge Melissa Blackburn wrote a letter to Nashville Mayor Megan Barry asking the city to hold CoreCivic responsible for the scabies outbreak that spread from the women's detention facility on Harding Pike to the courthouse.

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