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8 Santa Barbara County jail inmates test positive for COVID-19

Lompoc Record - 1/28/2022

Jan. 29—Eight Santa Barbara County jail inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak that started last month at the Main Jail, and Sunday at the Northern Branch Jail, according to a sheriff's spokeswoman on Friday.

The infected inmates include three who tested positive at the Main Jail located at 4436 Calle Real in Santa Barbara and five at the Northern Branch Jail located at 2301 Black Road in Santa Maria, according to Raquel Zick.

The inmates tested positive after the Sheriff's Office's last updates on the outbreak Jan. 26 and Jan. 27, Zick said.

The Main Jail outbreak, which began on Dec. 8, has infected a total of 252 inmates and includes 37 active infections. A total of 211 inmates have recovered and four were released, Zick added.

No inmates are currently hospitalized as a result of the outbreak at either jail. At the Main Jail, 48 inmates reported symptoms, 203 reported experiencing no symptoms and one inmate declined to answer, according to Zick.

The Northern Branch Jail outbreak, which was first detected on Sunday after 244 inmates were transferred from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria on Jan. 22, now includes 11 infected inmates. All are asymptomatic, according to Zick.

All 244 inmates, along with the transporting and receiving staff, tested negative for the coronavirus before the transfer on Saturday, Zick added.

The Sheriff's Office is coordinating officials, including with the Santa Barbara Court and the Public Defender's Office to adjust court appearances and with Wellpath medical contractors, and Public Health Department and state Department of Public Health officials to contain the outbreak.

Additionally, exposed inmates who haven't tested positive are also separated and those with underlying health conditions are transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment, according to Zick.

Jail staff have administered more than 780 inmate vaccinations, including many through the American Rescue Plan Act that provides $20 to inmates' commissary accounts for full vaccinations and $10 for a booster shot, Zick added.


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