County jail to get $400K air purifying system from CARES Act to mitigate spread of COVID-19

Alachua County Jail
Photo courtesy ASO

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners issued an Emergency Purchase Order to fund an air purification system in the Alachua County Jail.

The purchase order, in the amount of $394,073, goes to Brooks Building Solution, Inc. out of Jacksonville who will install an AHU GPS Air Purification System in the jail as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to improve air quality. 

According to Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Art Forgey, the first inmate testing positive for COVID-19 was reported on Saturday, July 4th.

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Subsequently, eight inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as five administrative employees and a nurse.

The BOCC added the item to the agenda during the Aug. 3rd meeting addressing the CARES Act funding. Alachua County has access to up to $46.9 million in CARES Act funds to be used for expenses incurred from fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of the grant money according to the purchase order is “to provide funding for necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the time period of March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.”

The order states, “The County intends to use the funding available under the Grant to procure the furnishing and installation of the Alachua County Jail AHU GPS Air Purification System in the Alachua County Jail,” to “limit the potential spread of the virus among prisoners and guards.”

As of August 4th, there have been 25 inmates who have tested positive since the first case was reported, according to Forgey.

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