East County News Service
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April 3, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Sheriff’s department announced that yesterday, an inmate tested positive for COVID-19. Four Sheriff employees have also tested positive.
The Sheriff’s department declined to release details on which facilities the inmate and employees were in, citing privacy laws, but says that the employees are thus far “doing fine.” However, news reports indicate one of the cases is a nurse who works at the Las Colinas detention facility in Santee.
The inmate was booked into Sheriff's custody on Monday March 30th for domestic violence charges.
A statement from the Sheriff’s office states, “Because the inmate was showing flu-like symptoms, he was provided a mask to wear during the booking process. The inmate was subsequently placed in an isolation cell and has been housed in that cell ever since. Since it was recognized up front the inmate might be ill and precautions were taken, the risk to Sheriff's staff and other inmates was minimized. Inmates who may have had contact with the affected inmate have been identified and isolated as a precaution. Sheriff's employees who may have been exposed were identified and asked to self-quarantine at home. The arresting agency was also notified of the potential exposure to their officers.”
If the location of where the exposure occurred required extra safeguards or precautions, the Sheriff's Department would notify the public.
The Sheriff's Detention Services Bureau enacted processes to quickly isolate potentially ill persons, including temperature checks conducted while a suspect is still in a patrol vehicle prior to booking. Any persons with symptoms are issued a barrier mask, evaluated by medical staff and isolated if needed.
The Sheriff has 228 beds reserved for COVID-related precautions and currently as 36 inmates in isolated for COVID-related precautions. So far, 45 inmates have tested negative and one has tested positive.
“Where COVID-19 cases may appear doesn't change the fact we all need to be doing our part to prevent the spread of the virus,” the Sheriff’s press release states. “Stay at home unless you must travel to an essential job or to access necessities such as food, health care or to take care for elderly or disabled friends or family. If you must go out, always maintain a safe social distance of six feet.”
Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face, mouth and eyes. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Disinfect your home or workspace regularly. Help "flatten the curve" and stop the spread of COVID-19.
For the latest updates on COVID-19 in San Diego County, visit www.coronavirus-sd.com.