Santa Barbara Co. Jail inmate tests positive for COVID-19

Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 22:01:04-04

A Santa Barbara County Jail inmate has tested positive for COVID-19, the department announced Friday.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says the inmate is a 40-year-old man arrested by the Santa Maria Police Department and booked into the main jail April 1.

He reportedly faces charges of burglary, stalking and being under the influence of drugs.

The sheriff’s office says the man does not have underlying health conditions.

“As part of the Jail’s COVID-19 response plan, all newly admitted inmates are held in a reception housing area that is separated from the Jail’s general population,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. “After inmates complete a reception stay of 14 days or more they are examined by medical staff from Wellpath, the Jail’s contracted medical provider, prior to being rehoused in other areas of the facility. On April 14, 2020, during such an examination, the inmate was found to have a fever. The inmate was immediately removed to a negative pressure room in a special housing area and placed on quarantine protocols. The inmate was immediately tested and the Sheriff’s Office received the positive result late last night.”

The sheriff’s office says a contact investigation was conducted and the results forwarded to the public health department.

Additionally, the sheriff’s office says inmates released under a recent zero-bail ruling are screened and assessed before leaving the facility.

There have been at least seven positive COVID-19 cases among Santa Barbara County sheriff employees, including at least three deputies.

At last check, there were no reported cases at the San Luis Obispo County Jail and one case at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo.