NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Over a dozen inmates at the Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston have tested positive for COVID-19.
DHEC sent that facility a new machine that will help detect if someone has the coronavirus in just a few minutes.
It got to the jail nearly two weeks ago, but the actual tests only came in this week.
The detention facility received 72 tests to administer to inmates only, and that’s just if they meet the criteria to be tested.
Of those 72 tests, only one has been used so far. After a quick swab to the nasal passage, ABC News 4 was told within 15 minutes it came back negative.
Sheriff Al Cannon says the only other place you can find a device like this is in certain hospitals.
We asked him how his facility was able to score one.
“We have the only certified infirmary in a jail in the state of South Carolina. DHEC has certified our medical unit so it meets that very high threshold criteria to, in effect, be treated like a mini hospital, if you will,” said Sheriff Cannon.
He adds his infirmary could administer tests to inmates in other counties as well.
It will be required that the other detention facilities bring a suspected infected inmate to the Al Cannon Detention Center to be tested after a screening process.
The machine is also capable of testing for strep throat and the flu.
If you’re interested in seeing how the machine works, you can watch the video attached to this story.