EPSO COVID-19 Information

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July 19, 2021 : Nationwide, we have seen a decrease in COVID related numbers, but our care and screening has not ceased for our staff and for our incarcerated citizens that are housed at the El Paso County Jail. We continue to provide daily health screenings and testing for all staff, contractors, and incarcerated citizens. Twice per day screening for those that have tested positive. Our incarcerated citizens are offered a COVID test once per week and weekly we are vaccinating all interested individuals. Our last vaccination occurred July 16, 2021. 

The health, safety, and well-being of staff and our incarcerated citizens is a top priority for Sheriff Bill Elder.  

During our daily screening process in the past week, we have noticed a slight increase in staff and inmate positive results, as of today we have 9 inmates and 5 staff.  We will update the numbers on our website weekly, as long as the numbers are above 5.  When they fall below that threwhold, we will not be posting the numbers.

Upon arrival to the facility, staff and citizens are screened, have their temperature checked, and receive personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear. All those that receive a test or vaccination must sign the COVID consent form to authorize a testing or vaccination. Our incarcerated citizens are issued 2 masks upon admittance and can exchange as needed. They are encouraged to wear a mask in their housing units and are required to wear them when transported outside of their housing units to include attending court. Our staff continues to wear PPE equipment during their shifts.  

The complexity of COVID-19 to include all disease transmission in a jail setting cannot be understated, especially when the entire medical community at-large is still learning and developing treatment protocols during the pandemic in real time. Jail facilities nationwide create unique risks for disease transmission but even with these challenges, our focus continues to be on prevention and containment. Our goal is to prevent the entry of COVID-19 into the jail, and to implement alternative mitigation efforts such as decreasing population, screening, and frequent cleaning and disinfection. We have increased our cleaning schedules and the amount of cleaning supplies on hand. We are closely monitoring our supply levels and are in close communication with our vendors to maintain adequate inventory. 

We encourage our incarcerated citizens to be mindful of preventative measures that can be taken.  

Upon an inmates release from custody, in addition to a mask, they are provided information from El Paso County Public Health and their information was forwarded to Public Health for follow-up. This is the same information given to any citizen who tests positive. It is up to each inmate to abide by the health recommendations and quarantine or isolate upon their release, just as any other citizen who tests positive and has been given the same instructions. 

The Sheriff’s Office, along with our stakeholders, have done everything feasible, without sacrificing public safety to lower our inmate population. Inmates that were released from custody, either posted bond or completed their sentence. The Sheriff's Office cannot lawfully hold a person in custody at the jail who has posted bond or satisfied their sentence merely for testing positive for COVID or any other medical reason. This would be a violation of their constitutional rights. 

In the spirit of transparency, we provided positive test numbers on the chart below. These numbers were publically provided on this site at the peak of the positive results from COVID testing in our Jail. When a significant decrease in positive testing results occurred, we maintained an internal tracking only.

We continue to monitor this situation closely in the days and weeks to come. Be assured that additional communication will be forthcoming, if and when the situation changes. As we have from the very beginning of the pandemic, we will continue to take guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health. El Paso County Public Health and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office have been working together closely since the beginning of the pandemic. 

 

 

Lab-Confirmed Cases

Date Staff Inmates
September 13, 2021 5 25
September 6, 2021 6 60
August 30, 2021 5 30
August 15, 2021 1 15
August 9, 2021 1 8
August 2, 2021 0 12
July 26, 2021 1 7
July 19, 2021 4 9
January 26, 2021 0 10
January 18, 2021 1 6
January 11, 2021 6 14
January 4, 2021 6 12
December 28, 2020 3 17
December 18, 2020 3 15
December 11, 2020 8 14
December 9, 2020 10 8
December 7, 2020 13 8
December 4, 2020 9 23
December 2, 2020 10 27
November 30, 2020 6 32
November 25, 2020 16 47
November 23, 2020 19 55
November 20, 2020 15 65
November 18, 2020 38 113
November 17, 2020 37 108
November 13, 2020 38 209
November 11, 2020 19 148
November 9, 2020 73 687
November 8, 2020 66 859
November 7, 2020 62 658
November 6, 2020 61 649
November 5, 2020 61 690
November 4, 2020 57 690
November 3, 2020 51 690
November 2, 2020 37 154
October 31, 2020 26 132
October 29, 2020 21 64

 

 

 

 


 

Mask Mandate

The Governor issued a statewide mask mandate: Link to the order HERE.

These are trying times in many aspects for law enforcement.  We cannot afford to take actions that further erode the public trust in us.  As such, the official position of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is to continue to educate the public on the benefits of wearing face coverings in enclosed public places.  We will stress that wearing a mask will slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.  We will not, however, be expending the resources of the Sheriff's Office on issuing citations to individuals not wearing masks.


In an effort to reduce face to face interactions due to the increasing spread of COVID-19 in El Paso County, we are transitioning non-priority calls differently. Our Communication Center will still receive all requests for calls for service through our normal method, non-emergent calls to 719-390-5555 and emergent calls to 9-1-1.  Our Communication Center Call Takers will assess each situation as it comes in.  If it is a crime that is actively occurring and is a risk to persons or property, a deputy will be dispatched.  If it is an incident that is not active and not posing an immediate threat, a deputy will reach the caller by phone.

Our goal is to minimize public exposure to the virus, while carrying out our mission to protect public safety in El Paso County.  We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and provide updates as necessary.  

Jump to a section: #El Paso County Jail   #Concealed Handgun Permits  #Office of the Sheriff   #Patrol  

 

Updated: 8/9/2021 3:23 pm

 


 

EL PASO COUNTY JAIL

  • We continue to transfer DOC backlog inmates from EPC Jail to DOC facilities.

  • Quarantine processes for inmates will remain in place and will be reassessed continuously.

  • Jail personnel continue to be directed to stay at home if experiencing any symptoms of illness. Temperature checks, visual and verbal screening continues. All Detention Bureau staff have begun testing for COVID 19 as of 10/30/20.  Mass testing of all inmates began on 11/01/2020.

  • Civilian personnel have been given authorization to return to work if feasible.

  • Heightened levels of sanitization and germicide spraying of all workspaces, detention wards and transport vehicles continues.

  • Intensive inmate screening, PPE usage, and limited movement throughout the facility remains in place.

  •  Effective 11/01/2020, access to the jail is limited to EPSO employees and Contractors who provide a mandatory and necessary public service. 

To family members of incarcerated citizen's:

Thank you for expressing your concern about your loved one incarcerated at the El Paso County Jail. We take the health and safety of our inmate population very seriously.  Please allow us to take this opportunity to describe in full the steps we have been and are taking to keep everyone at the El Paso County Jail safe.  

In March, we put in place emergency operating plans and have been working with El Paso County Public Health following all of their recommendations as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread and continue to follow their recommendations during this current outbreak.  

We have made and continue to make significant adjustments to how we normally operate the facility to combat this outbreak. We will also continue to test and care for every employee and inmate and provide the safest facility possible under these evolving conditions. 

Throughout the past few months, we have been able to dramatically decrease our jail population and have identified the at-risk inmates and are taking the appropriate measures based on CDC and Public Health recommendations.  The Sheriff’s Office, along with our stakeholders have done everything feasible, without sacrificing public safety to lower our inmate population. 

We have Standard Operating Procedures regarding disease prevention and response in the El Paso County Jail. We have coordinated with all law enforcement agencies in the area to keep them informed on our inmate admittance screening process.  This screening process consists of answering a series of questions, as well as a temperature check prior to admittance.  If jail medical staff identifies a person with symptoms or exposure to an infectious disease such as COVID-19, they may request the arresting agency safely transport the individual to the appropriate medical facility or we may quarantine the person within the jail. 

The decision of who gets moved to isolation or which areas are deemed quarantined would be a coordinated effort between our medical provider, WellPath, and our Inmate Classification Unit. For clarification purposes, "quarantine" separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. "Isolation" separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick (more restrictive than quarantine).  As it pertains to this facility, most inmates who are being observed for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure are in quarantine. We only medically isolate those who are positive, questionable, or presumed positive. 

When there is an identified COVID case, Public Health will review the movements of the inmate and make a determination based on the reported information and the protocols that had been followed. They will determine if there is a significant exposure risk to staff and/or inmates. Our medical provider, WellPath, is working diligently around the clock following public health guidance in an attempt to pinpoint potential illnesses before they occur. The practices are thorough, yet non-invasive, and have already proven to be extremely accurate.  

Although we have had to change the way inmates are served their meals and what is served, a dietician has reviewed and approved the menu which meets the standard caloric intake, as well as nutritional requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.  

We have begun to conduct follow-up testing with those that have been identified as COVID positive. We expect these numbers to start going down within the week. 

This current COVID situation remains the top priority of Sheriff Elder and the Staff at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. We are working diligently in collaboration with Public Health, other County leadership, and the Colorado Department of Public Health Environment. 

 


 


 

CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMITS

As we continue to follow proper sanitation guidelines between scheduled appointments, it may create longer wait times in the lobby. We are sorry for any inconvenience these precautions may cause; however, we want to ensure we are following all protocols to keep everyone safe. Thank you for your understanding.

CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMITS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm, closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays. In the event of inclement weather, please call 719-520-7249.

For more information on Concealed Handgun Permits please visit: https://www.epcsheriffsoffice.com/services/concealed-handgun-permit

For HR-218 applicants only: Starting June 7th, 2021, applicants may qualify at the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex the 1st Monday of every month. If the 1st Monday of the month is a Federal holiday, the range date will be moved to the 2nd Monday of that month.

If you have any questions, please call Deputy Tim Hightshoe at 719-330-5483 or the Concealed Handgun Permit Office at 719-520-7249.

 


 


 

OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF

The Office of the Sheriff has resumed operations and regular business hours (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  Due to social distancing requirements, the lobby capacity at the Sheriff’s Office has been reduced to 12 people. It is possible that applicants might have to wait outside if the lobby is at capacity.

 


 

PATROL

If law enforcement comes into contact with an individual who has symptoms such as a cough or is very hot to the touch and is NOT a mandatory arrest, it is recommended that law enforcement issue a summons and release those individuals.

  • If law enforcement must arrest someone for a crime that is mandatory jail, they will still be brought to jail, indicating that the individual has symptoms and the jail will render its protocol for assessment and quarantine.
  • PR Bonds, when permitted by the courts, are being issued in the field by law enforcement in lieu of taking the person to jail. 
  • Supervisors will continue to use discretion when sending deputies to medical calls.
  • Cadet Academy and all Cadet Programs are slowly being reactivated.

We continue handling as many non-priority calls by phone as possible as well as offering an updated list of crimes to Cop Logic for self-reporting.  Calls requiring a deputy response will be dispatched accordingly.