The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is reporting a COVID-19 outbreak in the Main Jail.
Sheriff's officials say a COVID-19-positive inmate was identified in the Male Basement Dormitory on Wednesday, Dec. 8. This area of the jail is described as a dormitory-type housing area with bunks where 51 inmates were being housed.
Officials say the positive inmate was re-housed and inmates who were exposed to him are currently being tracked and tested. Since then, four additional COVID-19-positive inmates have been identified from that housing area.
Sheriff's officials say that prior to testing positive, the first inmate had recently made an in-person court appearance where he had contact with inmates from other parts of the jail.
The sheriff's office is working to test more of the jail inmates and is reportedly coordinating with the Santa Barbara Court and the Public Defender's Office to adjust court appearances to minimize the spread of the virus through the movement of inmates.