Inmate vaccines

Employees with the city of Longview and Gregg County administer COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 in the Smith County Jail.

As the country experiences the latest wave in COVID-19, East Texas sheriff's offices are facing battles -- some bigger than others -- to keep the virus at bay from inmates and officers.

Due to the recent virus surge and 30 jailer openings, the Smith County Jail is missing a quarter of the officers that the facility employs.

Sgt. Larry Christian, Smith County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said Monday because of the omicron variant wave, COVID-19 is rising among inmates and jail officers.

"It’s having a very profound effect on the jail," Christian said.

Smith County Jail recently suspended in-person visitation due to an uptick in cases, and on Monday, 41 inmates were reported as having positive cases.

Read the full story on COVID-19 affecting jails across East Texas from our news partners at CBS19.


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