Medical screening kept an infected crime suspect from being booked into the county jail.

News release from the Pulaski sheriff’s office:


The Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility, in partnership with the agency’s medical provider, identified an arrestee showing COVID-19 symptoms while being screened into the facility and who later tested positive for the virus.


The individual was being booked into the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility earlier this week when TurnKey, the agency’s medical provider, identified what appeared to be coronavirus symptoms. The detainee was transported to the hospital where the individual tested positive for COVID-19.


The inmate, who is facing felony charges, bonded out of the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility. The Sheriff’s Office has been in communication with the Arkansas Department of Health regarding this positive case and health officials are working with the patient.


“We have been preparing for a situation like this. Over the last month, our medical team has performed thousands of temperature and pulse ox tests. The medical screening in place prevented the virus from entering general population, this time. We will continue our vigorous medical screenings in an effort to protect employees and detainees from COVID-19,” said Pulaski County Sheriff Eric S. Higgins.


Four Pulaski County deputies, assigned to the Detention Facility, are self-quarantined because of their interaction with the detainee while in the agency’s custody.


While the individual never entered general population, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Health, conducted random COVID-19 tests on inmates. The Sheriff’s Office has received a majority of the results, which are all negative.


Volunteer programs and in-person visitation have been suspended for nearly two months and employees and inmates are wearing face masks.


We encourage the community to get further updates on our response to COVID-19 by calling our hotline at (501) 340-6993.