Another Friday and another Zoom call for RCSE!  As always, it was nice to see members on the call since we all miss seeing each other in person.  After all Rotary Business items were discussed, President Laura Lane McKinnon introduced our speaker for the day, West Chatham Club member Todd Freesman.   
For the past year, Todd has been in charge of the Chatham County Detention Center and he spoke to RCSE about how they are handling COVID-19.  He said it has really been a team effort and that everyone has jumped in to help.  When the pandemic began, they looked through manuals at the Detention Center on how to handle this type of a crisis.  There were hundreds of pages on what to do in a hurricane but only two pages about what to do during a pandemic.  Those two pages were focused on flu and tb screening.  
Since the beginning of COVID-19, there have been 11 inmates and 18 staff members who have tested positive for the virus.  They test everyone who comes into the facility and then quarantine them for 14 days.  Some of the steps they have taken to decrease the spread of COVID in the Detention Center are: suspend all noncritical transfers, increase use of video courts, integrate screening into the release planning, coordinate with public health, masks for staff and inmates, wear recommenced PPE, communicate clearly and often mostly with the use of videos, and identity and quarantine close contacts of those who test positive.  They have also suspended all programs at this time.  The population of the Detention Center at the beginning of 2020 was 1725 inmates and now it is 1255.  This drop in numbers can be contributed to the center not taking misdemeanor offenses and if an inmate is considered to not be an immediate threat to the public, then they are deferred to a later time.