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22 inmates, 12 employees, including bailiff, test positive for COVID-19 in Dallas County

The coronavirus has upended criminal proceedings. Dallas County has suspended all jury trials.

Twenty-two inmates in Dallas County and 12 sheriff's office employees, including deputies and a bailiff, have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday.

A Dallas County bailiff from the 194th District Court has tested positive for the coronavirus, said the Dallas County Sheriff's Office spokesman Raul Reyna. 

Tuesday's count includes six detention officers, two clerks and three deputies, Reyna said.

State District Judge Ernest White, who works in the 194th district court, posted on Facebook that he will self-quarantine for two weeks. He said in the post that he encouraged court personnel to do the same. Writs and bond reductions could be emailed to the district attorney, he said.

The county already suspended all jury trials.

Previous inmate cases

The first case of coronavirus for a Dallas County inmate was confirmed in March. It's unclear how the first inmate got the disease. He had been in jail since December and was held in a pod with 50 others.

On March 25, Dallas County Judge Jenkins said that police and jailers were discussing new protocols to possibly quarantine together instead of at home with their families. 

He also said that if the disease spreads in the jail, the county will turn to the jail at the top of the George Allen Courthouse to help house infected inmates. 

Seventeen cases were reported at the jail last Tuesday.

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