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More cases diagnosed at PRJ; deaths rise in Prince Edward

After having been apparently free of the novel coronavirus since June 1, Piedmont Regional Jail (PRJ) had 12 positive cases, two inconclusive and two positive cases among staff as of Monday, July 6, according to PRJ Superintendent Jim Davis.

“This is the result of the Virginia National Guard testing all inmates the last week of June,” Davis said of the latest case report. “We did that to identify anyone who may have the virus but shows no symptoms of the virus. All of these individuals had no signs of the virus.”

He said they are all being quarantined for 14 days.

“These inmates have been in jail for a period of time,” he said. “The last one committed was in (June). All others have been locked up previously.”

Prior to this latest COVID-19 report, PRJ had experienced a total of eight positive offenders and nine positive staff during the pandemic.

Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported COVID-19 deaths rose from three to six last week from June 30 to July 3 in Prince Edward County.

According to Rhonda L. Pruitt, Sr. epidemiologist for the Piedmont Health District, the jump in reported deaths was the result of the district’s central office reviewing death certificates and re-counting fatalities based on that data.

(Herald reporter Alexa Massey contributed to this story.)