An Athens Clarke County Sheriff's drives down the street on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Joey Duncan)

The Georgia Army National Guard will test inmates and Clarke County Sheriff’s Office employees at the Athens-Clarke County Jail for COVID-19 on Friday, according to a CCSO news release.

The voluntary testing is “simply a precautionary measure,” the release said. The jail has no confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at the sheriff’s office either, according to the release.

Special housing arrangements will be made for any inmate who tests positive for the coronavirus, according to the release. Results will be made public once all results are in and will reflect the number of tests taken and the result of each test.

The jail population dropped by nearly half from the beginning of March to the beginning of May, according to a May 5 memo sent to the ACC Mayor and Commission by Superior Court Chief Judge Eric Norris. The Red & Black obtained the memo through an open records act request.

There were 427 inmates on March 1 and 226 on May 4, marking a 47% decrease in the inmate population, Norris said in the memo.

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