WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County Jail has suspended all inmate intakes while they test all inmates and staff members for COVID-19, following a positive COVID-19 test of an inmate, according to Kandiyohi County Sheriff Eric Holien.

The jail has shut down all intakes as a precaution while they find the number of symptomatic and asymptomatic inmates and staff, Holien said.

“With the mitigation steps being taken, we are hoping, once base line numbers are attained, the steps we are taking will reduce or mitigate the spread,” Holien wrote in an email. “We are doing this in cooperation and as recommended by (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and (Minnesota Department of Health) guidelines.”

Holien wrote they are currently waiting on test results to come back and that the Sheriff's Office has not made a decision of when they will open inmate intake back up.

The Sheriff's Office hand-delivered testing samples to the Minnesota Department of Health Wednesday and are hoping to have the results either Thursday or Friday, according to Holien.

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The jail will do another series of testing seven days from the return of those test results and possibly another round of testing after that.

Holien wrote that they will not be taking anyone for at least seven days but that might be longer depending on how effective the mitigation process works and based on available space for quarantine housing for the 14-day process for all new inmate intakes.

As of now, those arrested in Kandiyohi County will be transported and held in the Meeker County Jail in Litchfield.

"We will explore other options if, for some reason, they no longer can" take them, Holien wrote.

For related stories, see Kandiyohi County Jail.