A new COVID-19 outbreak cropped up in the Santa Barbara County Jail after 26 new inmates tested positive for the virus.

The outbreak was discovered on February 2, when several inmates housed in the male basement dormitory reported symptoms of COVID-19 to staff. Inmates in two separate housing units were tested for the virus, and 26 of the 60 inmates tested were positive.

Inmates are currently being re-housed in an effort to quarantine those who are positive from those who tested negative, and routine surveillance testing of those inmates who were negative will continue over the next 14 days in an effort to identify any others who may have contracted the virus. All of the inmates affected are being monitored and are receiving treatment by medical staff within the jail.

The jail has seen a total of 187 COVID-19-related cases, including cases contracted within the facility and those who were positive upon arriving at the jail. Contact tracing efforts are underway to identify the source of the new outbreak, as well as to identify any staff who may have been exposed.

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