Henry County’s sheriff has confirmed the inmate who tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after arriving at the state prison intake center had been in the county jail in Mount Pleasant.

“We had him incarcerated in our jail and he was in the same basic cell pod most of his stay and he came in mid-January and he left April 16th,” Henry County Sheriff Rich McNamee says, “and during that time he showed no symptoms.”

The inmate was screened last Thursday when he arrived at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville and the sheriff says his staff was given the all clear.

“We delivered him and we left,” McNamee says. “And then late Friday the 17th, later in the day, I guess, we were notified that he was showing some symptoms.”

State prison officials called the sheriff’s office in the early morning hours of Saturday to give notice that the inmate had tested positive for the virus. The staff member who transferred the prisoner from the Henry County Jail to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville has been tested and the inmate’s cellmate in Mount Pleasant has been tested, but the results are not yet available. The Iowa Department of Corrections officials say the inmate — who is not being named — is in stable condition and being monitored around the clock.

(By Theresa Rose, KLMJ, Mount Pleasant)