Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin said the county received confirmation 12 of its inmates tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
According to the sheriff, an employee was also quarantined and the department is testing other inmates and employees.
"We greatly appreciate any and all prayers," Jarnagin said. "Team HCSD is working with several resources to address this concern. Will keep everyone updated."
Inmates and staff at facilities run by the Tennessee Department of Corrections have similarly seen sudden case spikes of COVID-19 in the past two months.
According to TDOC, a total of 3,168 inmates at state-run facilities have tested positive since the start of the pandemic. As of Thursday 3,077 have recovered, 4 have died, and 87 cases are still active.
The state has been working to regularly test all inmates and staff and said most cases have been asymptomatic.
All inmates who test positive and are asymptomatic receive daily medical monitoring and health assessments.
Those who may become symptomatic but don’t require additional care, such as respiratory support, will be treated in place or at local hospitals, depending on their needs. Staff will self-quarantine and are monitored for symptoms and are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider.