Sheriff Harry Young

CAIRO — The Grady County Sheriff’s Office will be closed to the public for the immediate future after Sheriff Harry Young was found to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus Monday.

All sheriff’s office personnel were tested for possible exposure to COVID-19 this week following Young’s diagnosis. The results of those tests were all negative.

Even with the negative test results, the entire sheriff’s office facility will be shuttered to the public for an undermined amount of time and will be entirely disinfected. Deputies will continue to respond to calls for service, but other business will be handled by phone whenever possible.

Captain Daniel Singletary will lead the sheriff’s office in an interim capacity until Young can return.

Residents are asked to be patient until the sheriff’s office can reopen to the public.

Young said he voluntarily admitted himself to Grady General Hospital Monday after feeling weak.

“My back was hurting real bad and I thought that probably was what my problem was,” he said.

As it turns out, the 76-year-old sheriff had tested positive for COVID-19.

Despite the diagnosis, Young said the care he’s received so far has him feeling better already.

“I feel great,” he said. “I woke up this morning and I said, ‘man, I feel like a new person.’”

The sheriff is expected to be discharged from the hospital at the end of the week, after which he will spend of period of time in home quarantine.

In the meantime, sheriff’s office personnel are following additional safety precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Deputies wear masks and gloves while on patrol, and suspects for all but the most serious crimes are generally given court dates and allowed to avoid extended stays in custody.

“We try not to put anybody in jail that has symptoms of COVID,” Young said.

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