The Sheriff’s Department reported that 16 employees are currently positive for COVID-19, while another 50 have recovered and returned to work. The latest to catch coronavirus are five employees — four deputies and one civilian employee — and also three inmates in County Jail. Three of the deputies worked in corrections and tested positive on December 19.
Among the inmates, two of the cases were detected when they were screened for the virus during intake. They were released. The third inmate had been in quarantine after being brought to the jail and is not in a negative-air pressured area apart from the general jail population.
The Sheriff’s Office is not alone in having personnel falling victim to the virus. The Probation Department reported on Saturday that a support staff member at Juvenile Hall in Santa Maria tested positive on December 18. The individual had been in contact with one other employee and with no youth, and had worn a facemask while at the facility. Staff and contractors are screened before entering Juvenile Hall, Chief Probation Officer Tanja Heitman said, and are told to stay home if ill.