SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Seven more employees of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office have tested positive for COVID-19. These latest cases brings the total number of sheriff's office employees to test positive for the coronavirus to 57.
Five of the seven were custody deputies.
According to the sheriff's office, one custody deputy was found to be positive on Dec. 11 following routine employee testing earlier that week. That deputy last worked on Dec. 8 and began experiencing symptoms after work.
A second deputy was tested on Dec. 11 and tested positive for COVID-19 later that day.
A third deputy was tested on Dec. 8 and was notified on Saturday of the positive test while at work. The deputy was immediately sent home, the sheriff's office said.
A fourth deputy was tested on Saturday as part of routine surveillance. They began experiencing symptoms that day. The result of their test came back on Monday.
A fifth custody deputy who last worked on Dec. 8 began experiencing symptoms on Saturday. A rapid test was conducted on Monday and they were found to be positive for COVID-19.
The sheriff's office says all the custody deputies wore personal protective equipment while interacting with inmates.
Additionally, a sheriff's deputy tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. They had last worked the previous Monday and began experiencing symptoms shortly after. The sheriff's office says this deputy "consistently wore a mask while at work."
Finally, an employee with the sheriff's office tested positive on Saturday. This "non-sworn member" of the sheriff's office professional staff had not worked since Dec. 8 and was not in contact with the public or any inmates, the sheriff's office said.
57 Santa Barbara County Sheriff's employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began. Of those 57 staff members, 48 are considered to be recovered and have returned to work, the sheriff's office said.