Inmate tells CBS7 COVID-19 conditions at Midland County Jail are ‘very bad’, Sheriff Criner won’t return calls, texts or emails

Midland County Detention Center.
Midland County Detention Center.(Photo: Daniel Alvarado/CBS7)
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 3:18 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - The Midland County Jail is dealing with a major COVID-19 outbreak among inmates and staff.

On Monday, Sheriff David Criner reported 80 inmates had tested positive, as well as eight detention officers.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Midland County Health Department reported 64 had tested positive at the jail, but wouldn’t confirm if those were additional cases, and referred CBS7 to Sheriff Criner. The health department says all information regarding the detention center has to come through the sheriff. An additional 64 would mean a total of 152 have tested positive.

CBS7 has reached out to the sheriff multiple times since the original 88 positive cases were announced via phone, text and email, but he hasn’t returned them. He recommended Monday in a news release that the media had any questions about the jail to email him. He hasn’t responded to our email sent this morning requesting an interview.

An inmate who wants to remain anonymous, fearing retribution, tells CBS7 that there are four dorms, or what they call “sick tanks,” right now in the jail. He estimates there are between 60 and 75 sick inmates in his dorm, and the same amount in the dorm next door.

He says most sick inmates have not been able to see a doctor or nurse, and that the jail isn’t regularly giving them over-the-counter pain killers or fever reducers like Tylenol or aspirin. He believes six of the inmates in his dorm have had to be taken to the hospital.

Midland Memorial Hospital reports there are no inmates at the hospital as of Wednesday afternoon.

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