Families of inmates raise concerns about COVID-19 in Chatham County Jail


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Family members of inmates serving time at the Chatham County Jail are raising more concerns about COVID-19. Since Thanksgiving, there have been 46 cases among inmates and 20 staff members.

A post on social media that has been circulating has four women fearful for their loved ones’ lives after those new COVID-19 cases.

“Why we’re out here fighting hard talking about sanitation and being clean and all this stuff, they’re in there and they don’t all have what they need,” Concerned family member, Thomica Johnson said.

Johnson posted the messages on Facebook. An inmate says they are facing challenges to protect themselves by not getting sanitizing products strong enough to kill the virus.

“We’ve done everything on the inside to make sure it’s clean and disinfected. If the inmates want any type of stuff all they have to do is ask,” Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher said in an update Thursday.

A jail spokesperson also says the jail is taking precautions by isolating inmates and minimizing movement in the jail.

Takiyah Williams’ boyfriend is currently battling COVID-19. She said he had nose bleeds, coughing spells, and a fever of 106 degrees.

“He hasn’t been taken out of the dorm that he’s in. He’s not under quarantine so that leaves me to believe that everyone around him could possibly be infected as well,” Williams said.

Health Services Administrator Karen Forchette said in an update that all new inmates are tested for COVID-19 and quarantined for 14 days.

“And you don’t come out of that quarantine until you test negative,” Forchette said.

All of these women share many things in common, but at the top of that list is getting their loved ones their day in court to be released from jail before anything worse happens.

“If these teachers can get on here and do virtual with these students so can the courts, so can these lawyers,” Concerned family member, Cecelia Gibson said.

24/7 medical care is provided to each inmate. Anyone who feels they need a COVID-19 test can ask their unit nurse. Jail officials say if families have any concerns to give them a call at 912-652-7600.

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