Two other Sheriff’s employees await test results
By Miriam Raftery
Photo credit: Google maps
March 26, 2020 (Santee) – A nurse who works at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee tested positive yesterday for COVID-19. She has been isolated at home since March 22, when she began feeling ill.
The Las Colinas facility is the primary point of intake for women prisoners in San Diego County.
According to a press statement issued by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, its Detention Services Bureau has identified all inmates and staff who may have come into close contact with this nurse.
Clinical face to face interactions between this nurse and inmates were done with the nurse wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no inmates who had contact with this nurse are currently in isolation.
Per CDC guidelines and in consultation with County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), nine employees are considered at a low exposure risk. As of March 26th, and out of an abundance of caution, these employees were told to self-quarantine at home. Sheriff's Medical Liaison Unit will be following up with these employees to make sure they have all the resources they need.
“Out of the more than 4,300 Sheriff's Department employees, 31 have reported flu-like symptoms and have self-quarantined. In addition to the nurse, two others have undergone testing under orders of their medical provider. Those two results are pending,” the release states.
The Sheriff's Department has instituted measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. They include suspending jail visits, releasing inmates who have 30 days or less remaining in their sentence, enhanced medical screening at booking, as well as designating bed spaces for quarantine, among others. The jails continue to undergo comprehensive regular cleaning and disinfecting.
Currently, 168 beds are available for isolation purposes, with more isolation cells available at several facilities, according to the Sheriff’s department.
The department is not releasing information on the condition of the nurse who tested positive for COVID-19, citing medical privacy laws.