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Coronavirus cases spike at SLO County Jail

Posted at 10:49 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 02:12:51-04

Despite proactive measures to keep the coronavirus out of the San Luis Obispo County Jail, numbers are now spiking.

Since July 9, three inmates and three correctional deputies have tested positive.

The sheriff's chief medical officer said she believes as case numbers have increased in the community, unknowingly infected officers may have brought the virus into the jail.

Dr. Christy Mulkerin said the virus has been kept out of the jail, up until a week and a half ago, by implementing cleaning protocols and screenings for new inmates. Video court has also been implemented where inmates go to court virtually while not leaving the jail in an effort to reduce community exposure and reduce the chance of bringing it back into the facility.

"It's something that we have been preparing for and trying hard to keep out of our jail, but as you've seen in facilities like Lompoc once it gets inside of a jail it can be incredibly hard to contain," Mulkerin said.

Inmates and correctional officers in the affected unit are now being tested and the inmates are under quarantine.

The department's first patrol deputy tested positive for the virus last week.