The Sheriff’s Office Main Jail has identified 50 additional COVID cases related to the outbreak that began on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Since our last press release, 54 of the COVID positive inmates have recovered and there are 83 active cases remaining. There has been a total of 169 cases in this outbreak that include 83 active cases, 82 recovered, and 4 released.
All COVID positive inmates are continuously monitored by custody staff and our Wellpath partners. None of the COVID positive inmates in this outbreak have required hospitalization, 30 inmates have reported being symptomatic, 138 are asymptomatic and 1 declined to answer.
As we identify COVID-19 positive inmates, they are moved into an area of the facility that has negative pressure cells. In the case of an outbreak, only those with active symptoms are moved. The remainder are placed together in small groups (cohorts) and isolated from other inmates. We also separate those who were exposed but have not tested positive. Inmates with severe symptoms or who have underlying health conditions are transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment, although none of the inmates in this outbreak have necessitated hospital transport.
The Sheriff’s Office has worked on a continual basis with our Wellpath and Public Health partners to address this outbreak as well as to establish and constantly re-evaluate plans for health safety within the Main Jail. At the request of Santa Barbara County Public Health, the California Department of Public Health has responded to assist with testing at the Main Jail and has provided a team of medical professionals who will remain in the facility for the duration of this outbreak.
Inmates are tested when they arrive in our custody and are housed separately from the general population during the initial 10 days of their stay. They are tested again before they are moved out of the quarantine area into other areas of the facility. During their stay, inmates are tested whenever they exhibit symptoms and whenever they might have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. The Sheriff’s Office continues to offer all three of the COVID-19 vaccines to all inmates in our care and recently implemented an incentive program where funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is used to award newly vaccinated inmates with $20 added to their commissary fund for full vaccination or $10 for a booster. This program resulted in 148 inmate vaccinations in the span of a two days and was accomplished thanks to the teamwork and partnership of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and California Department of Public Health. Additionally, Wellpath has administered over 630 vaccinations at the Main Jail since the beginning of the pandemic.