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Sheriff: No other ACSO staffers with positive tests

NATCHEZ — No Adams County Sheriff’s Office staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 or have exhibited any symptoms of the disease, said Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten, who received a positive test result for the disease on Sunday.

Patten said on Tuesday that he personally ordered three employees that he knew he had been around since he started having COVID-19 symptoms to go home and isolate themselves and that none of them have yet exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19.

“I ordered some people to quarantine themselves because they were around me,” Patten said. “So far, none of them were showing any symptoms. … I was the only one that showed any symptoms. There were about three people who were around me that I made go home. I do have about five people at home sick with the flu, strep throat and pneumonia. … Due to their age or previous health issues, the county has placed about 21 people in the department out on administrative leave. We new these people would be at high risk for COVID-19. … None of them are showing any symptoms.”

Patten said when he started having aches in his body approximately two weeks ago, he steered clear of the jail and only worked from his office when he started to feel better.

Patten said he isolated himself at home after being tested a week ago Wednesday and would continue to be isolated through April 8. Patten said he is already feeling better health-wise.

On Monday evening, he posted a live video on social media reassuring everyone that he is OK.

“I know there are rumors out there that I am doing real bad health wise. I am not,” Patten said in the video. “… I wanted to do this live to let you all know that I am OK. … God has me covered.”

Adams County Administrator Joe Murray said the Board of Supervisors acted early, about two weeks ago, to give administrative leave with pay to any county employees who are older than 60 or have pre-existing health conditions that would compromise their immune system.

On Monday, department heads countywide were instructed via a memo from the County Administrator’s office to reduce their in-house staff to the minimum number of employees necessary for their office and to place their staff on a two-week rotation schedule between being at-home or in office, Murray said.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said the city is also functioning with a “skeleton crew” by reducing the number of persons in City Hall to the minimum and allowing the majority of city employees to work remotely.

The transportation, public works, police and fire departments each have a set of procedures that they follow to keep their employees safe while the Senior Center is the only city operation that has been shut down, Grennell said.

“The city is up and rolling, but we have a skeleton crew,” Grennell said. “… We had a few employees that have some health concerns that were sent home and are set up to work remotely. … I don’t know of any employees that have been isolated with COVID-19 symptoms. We as a city were very proactive and we were the first city in the state to set up a task force. With me being a microbiologist, I understand how this thing spreads and took the necessary precautions.”