The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Communicable Disease Branch Corrections Team is working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, jails and detention centers around the state – and, thanks to that effort, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department is getting a grant of just under $112,000 to fight that fight.

It’s part of a North Carolina Jail Health Initiative that includes “a toolkit, strategies, education, technical assistance for participating correctional entities, and the collaboration and development of working relationships with stakeholders to establish credibility and a collaborative relationship to effect any needed change in the delivery of healthcare services.”

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department has been awarded the grant of $111,538 as part of a two-year agreement that requires the department to conduct more COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 education and training.

The money will also go toward the purchase of personal protective gear that helps prevent transmission of the disease.

According to the guidelines of the contract, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department will increase the number of COVID-19 tests from 167 per month to a minimum of 188 tests per month in the first year of the contract.

The department will also train staff and detainees on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

According to the grant agreement, all jail medical staff – and a minimum of half of all other jail staff – will participate in a training experience by November 1 of this year and will complete an additional training experience by the end of February 2023.

The training materials will require a minimum of one hour to complete and must pertain to COVID-19 or related infection prevention topics.