4 more Santa Barbara Co. Sheriff's employees test positive for COVID-19

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jul 01, 2020

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office says two additional custody deputies, a civilian custody staff member, and a patrol deputy tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

One of the custody deputies was reportedly away from work on military leave starting June 14 and became ill this week.

Sheriff's officials say the second custody deputy was tested after experiencing symptoms on his days off but was mistakenly notified that his result was negative. He reportedly returned to work after his symptoms went away and was assigned guard duty at the Psychiatric Health Facility. Sheriff's officials say he was then notified of his positive result and sent home to self-isolate. The sheriff's office says the custody deputy was wearing an N95 mask while on duty.

The civilian staff member is reportedly assigned to the Custody Records department, which the sheriff's office believes is the origin of a prior outbreak in which 18 custody staff members tested positive for the virus.

Sheriff's officials say the patrol deputy began experiencing symptoms on his days off and has not returned to work.

All four are reportedly in home isolation.

Sheriff's officials say two of the new cases do not appear to be work-related.

The sheriff's office says 225 jail inmates have been tested for coronavirus with four coming back positive. Officials say two of those inmates have since been released, one has recovered, and the fourth remains in jail, isolated and under medical supervision.

Of the employees who previously tested positive, sheriff's officials say seven have returned to work, 14 are recovering at home, and one is in the hospital.

The sheriff's office says testing of staff and inmates is ongoing.