Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian (left) stood with fellow sheriffs at an event in the House Chamber where he previously served as a representative. [Photo: Sam Doran/SHNS/File 2016]
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The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday evening that seven employees at the Middlesex Jail and House of correction have tested positive for COVID-19, as has an eighth employee who works elsewhere in the department.

The test resultd come just days after two inmates in the jail — who had been cellmates — tested positive for the illness. A statement released Thursday evening said no additional inmates have tested positive.

“All those employees who have tested positive will remain off duty until cleared by medical professionals to return to work,” the department said in a prepared statement.

Among measures taken at the jail and house of correction to address COVID-19 are:

Symptomatic staff must remain at home and contact their doctor until they are cleared to return to work.

Staff members are being notified anytime there are potential exposures in their work area.

Starting Friday, staff will have thermometers, germicidal clothes and gloves available to check their own temperatures before, during and after their shifts.

Enhanced medical screening for all people entering the facility.

Four free phone calls of up to 20 minutes each for all incarcerated individuals each week.

Staff must wear protective masks whenever they are working.

All prisoners and pre-trial detainees are provided with masks if they ask for one.

Cleaning of the facility has been “vigorously enhanced.”