Santa Barbara County Jail sees largest COVID-19 outbreak of the pandemic

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Posted at 10:57 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 13:57:17-04

The Santa Barbara County Jail is seeing its largest COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Raquel Zick says they are monitoring a COVID-19 outbreak in the Santa Barbara County Main Jail involving inmates and staff members. As of Wednesday, 62 inmates have tested positive in the main jail facility - two more than on Tuesday. In total, they have 85 reported COVID-19 cases.

"We are continuing to look at not only our staff members but at vendors and also the possibility that this came in from another inmate, so we do not currently know the source of this outbreak," said Raquel Zick, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer.

Every person who enters the jail wears an N-95 mask and every person who has face-to-face contact with an inmate is tested at the start of their shift and required to wear an N-95 mask. New inmates who come to the facility are tested outside before entering the main building. After their test, they are quarantined for 10 days. After their 10 day quarantine, they are tested again before they are allowed into the main building. Vaccines are offered to every inmate but are not required for inmates, employees or vendors at the jail.

"This is an incline that we have not seen in previous numbers and it is the largest outbreak that we've had so far," Zick said.

The Santa Barbara County Jail has more cases reported from this outbreak than any of the California state prisons have reported in the last 14 days.

Zick says they have the outbreak confined to two areas of the jail.

We reached out to the San Luis Obispo County Jail about its COVID-19 procedures but did not receive a response.