HOUSTON - More than two dozen Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Monday night that 27 total employees have tested positive.
“One of our members with #COVID19 is in critical condition. Please keep him and his family in our prayers. I feel helpless, wishing i could do more,” Sheriff Gonzalez wrote on Twitter Monday.
The sheriff also says at least one dozen of the cases are affecting employees who work in detentions.
“…We have 3 inmates that have tested positive, 34 are presumptive, and 850 in observational quarantine (low-risk),” he wrote.
Last week, a court order reversed course on Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's order to release inmates from the county jail.
The court order states, "Most of the inmates in the Harris County Jail are defendants charged with felony offenses, whose cases are assigned to one of the 22 Felony District Courts, each of which independently lawfully sit and exercise exclusive jurisdiction in such matters in this County." It also went on to say, "Only the State District Judges of the 22 Felony District Courts of Harris County, Texas have exclusive constitutional and statutory jurisdiction over all felony cases assigned to their respective courts."
Judge Hidalgo's order was issued in the hopes of stopping the spread of the virus at the jail, where there are roughly 8,000 inmates. Under Judge Hidalgo's order, the releases would not happen until the non-violent inmates go before pre-trial services.