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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. – The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way government officials go about their work, and that extends to correctional facilities.

In northeast Alabama, new inmates at the Jackson County jail are immediately placed under a 14-day quarantine. That means no showers in the general area of the Scottsboro center, WHNT reported.

Although some may think this rule stinks, prisoners are allowed to clean up — just in private, and not in the general population area.

According to Chief Corrections Deputy Hal Nash, the close quarters at the jail make social distancing impossible. During the inmates’ quarantine period, they are put in a separate cell and have their temperatures checked several times a day.

“We’re going to err on the side of caution for the safety and health of inmates and the folks that work there and their families,” Nash told WHNT.

Nash added the inmates are given personal hygiene items. Employees are required to wear masks and gloves and also have their temperatures monitored.

“During the quarantine period, the inmates are allowed and are issued twice a day, towels, washcloths, soap packs and shampoo packs,” Nash told WHNT. “There’s water there. They can take a bath, they’re just not allowed to go to the shower area.”

Nash said he is worried an incoming prisoner could be infected with the disease and come in contact with other inmates. So far, Jackson County Jail has had no COVID-19 cases,

“I feel safer going into the back of Jackson County Jail in the general population than I do going into some of the retail outlets that I see as I drive by and many people are not following social distancing guidelines or the masks that we’ve been asked to do,” Nash told WHNT.