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July 6, 2021

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Boulder County Sheriff’s Office revised arrest standards in effect July 6

Boulder County, Colo. - Early in the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office revised the arrest standards for intake at the Boulder County Jail in order to limit the number of inmates at the congregate facility. Different versions of the stricter arrest standards have remained in place throughout the pandemic in order in to keep the jail population down. Keeping the jail population lower than pre-pandemic numbers has been important in order to accommodate testing and isolating inmates to prevent the spread of the virus.

All inmates are screened for COVID-19 upon arrival to the jail. If they identify exposure or symptoms, we can rapidly test and isolate them. If they do not present with symptoms, they are quarantined for 14 days and are tested again before they can be cleared for general population. This quarantine process has helped us to identify infections before they have a chance to infect an entire module. Unfortunately, this quarantine process takes up to 150 beds in our facility, and we cannot protect our inmates without it.

We have identified dozens of positive COVID-19 cases through this process. In June, we identified six new cases during quarantine. Anytime we identify a new case, we must extend the quarantine procedure for that cohort or quarantine group.

Although we continue to hold vaccination clinics at the jail, on average only about half of inmates are vaccinated at any given time due to inmates choosing to not receive the vaccination.

The good news is that as the positivity rates and hospitalizations have declined, it is now appropriate to allow the population within the jail to increase.

“We acknowledge that there are repeat offenders who have been ignoring summons to court and causing problems in the Boulder County community. We need to begin to allow officers to hold people accountable, without throwing the door of the jail wide open and inviting an outbreak,” said Sheriff Pelle.

We will still be keeping COVID-19 protocols in place to protect the inmates, jail staff, and the Boulder County community.