Special Report: As COVID Cases Skyrocket in the Allegheny County Jail, so do the Concerns

By February 23, 2021 March 4th, 2021 No Comments
COVID_19, Allegheny COunty Jail

Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk

By The Pittsburgh Current

UPDATE: Less than 24 hours after publishing this series, 13 incarcerated persons tested positive for COVID-19 at the Allegheny County Jail resulting in a total of 88 positive cases in less than two weeks.  The Pittsburgh Current obtained an internal email from Warden Orlando Harper to Allegheny County Jail Staff. 

In the past 10 days, there have been 75 cases of COVID-19 reported at the Allegheny County Jail, an increase that accounts for more than 25 percent of the jail’s total positives reported since March 2020.

COVID-19 cases continue to climb amidst growing concerns from incarcerated persons, jail employees and the community. Advocates have continued to call into question the jail administration’s handling of the virus’ spread inside the facility.

In this three-story series, the Pittsburgh Current examines the lack of universal testing at the jail, the facility’s inconsistent isolation practices and living conditions for those sick with the virus. The Pittsburgh Current obtained dozens of sworn court declarations and independent interviews by incarcerated persons at the ACJ during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 outbreak at the Allegheny County Jail brings 75 new cases in just 10 days. What does this say about the county’s testing practices?

What it is like to live on the COVID-19 isolation unit at the Allegheny County Jail 

Scenes from an ACJ protest last summer. (Current Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk)

Special Report: Incarcerated Man at Allegheny County Jail: “He then said I was ‘delusional’ for thinking I could catch COVID-19”

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