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UPDATE: Bergen County Jail In Total Lockdown, Five Inmates Quarantined With Mumps

BCJ Medical Director Michael Hemsley
BCJ Medical Director Michael Hemsley Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

The entire Bergen County Jail was in lockdown after five inmates were quarantined with suspected mumps, authorities reported Tuesday night.

"Isolation means no additional inmates accepted and no one out until we're comfortable that there's no risk of exposure," County Executive Jim Tedesco said during a news conference in Hackensack.No staffers have shown any signs of infection, Tedesco said, adding that 1,000 doses of a vaccine were ordered for staff and inmates.

"Inmates who are scheduled to get out [Wednesday] need to be inoculated," Tedesco said. "We want to make sure we don’t put this out into the community at large."

All inmates and staff were being screened, the county executive said.

Jail officials will monitor remaining everyone to determine if symptoms develop and treatment is needed, he said.

Meanwhile, any new inmates will be taken to the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, as well as to any other facilities the county can find, he said, adding that officials were awaiting word from their counterparts at the Passaic County Jail in Paterson.

Suspicions were raised after several inmates showed signs of swollen glands, fatigue and headache, said Michael Hemsley, the jail's medical director.

Mumps isn't uncommon behind bars, Tedesco added."What you see in the community often makes its way into inmate facilities," he said.

"The plan is to ensure the safety of the population that is inside the jail," while containing the outbreak, the county executive said.For that reason, the entire jail was in lockdown, Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton said.

Attorneys and visitors were allowed but in "a controlled environment [with] o access to inmates," the sheriff said.

Otherwise, he said, it will be business as usual.

ALL PHOTOS: Cecilia Levine

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