Santa Maria Juvenile Hall staff member tests positive for COVID-19; another possibly exposed

Posted at 1:29 PM, Dec 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-19 16:29:46-05

A staff member assigned to Santa Barbara County Probation Department's Santa Maria Juvenile Hall (SMJH) tested positive for COVID-19 Friday, according to chief probation officer Tanja Heitman.

According to a press release from the Santa Barbara County Probation Department, the staff member left work early after feeling "mild symptoms" and getting tested with their personal physician.

Officials said the staff member continues to experience mild symptoms of the virus and is self-isolating at home.

Probation department officials determined after contact tracing that an additional staff member was possibly exposed, but no youth, contract nor other personnel were contacted.

The staff member wore a face mask on duty and will not return to work until after "a sufficient quarantine period," said probation department staff.

Employees and contractors must undergo health screening and have their temperature checked before entering the facility or not come to work if they feel ill, according to the probation department's COVID-19 Management Plan.