SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Two inmates in the San Luis Obispo County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Sheriff's office said that on Thursday, July 16, one inmate was found to have fever and body aches and was immediately isolated in the jail’s medical unit.
The inmate was tested for COVID-19 and the Sheriff’s Office received the positive test from the Public Health Department Lab on Friday, July 17.
The Sheriff’s Office did a contact tracing investigation to determine if anyone may have been exposed to the inmate while he was infectious and forwarded that investigation to the Public Health Department for evaluation.
The jail reported today that another inmate developed a sore throat and was also isolated. The inmate was tested for COVID-19 and the Public Health Department’s Lab resulted the test the same day.
“Ensuring the health and safety of our inmates is a top priority,” said Sheriff Ian Parkinson. “We have instituted a number of measures to not only keep our inmates safe but everyone who works in the Jail.”
These are the Jail’s first cases of COVID-19 in inmates, a stark contrast to most jails and prisons across California, the majority of which have been battling COVID-19 outbreaks in their facilities for months.
These cases in the Jail align with the County of San Luis Obispo’s rising COVID-19 rate over the past two weeks.
To help inmates stay connected to their loved ones, the Jail has reduced the cost for video visitation and introduced an email service to enhance communication. “This is a high-risk population, in a high-risk setting,” said Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Christy Mulkerin. “We have worked hard to keep COVID out of the jail by following CDC and County Public Health guidelines because we want to keep staff, Jail patients, and the community safe.”
San Luis Obispo County Jail said the sick inmates are in good condition, are isolated, and the housing units where they lived are under quarantine.
The exposed inmates in those units are checked for fever and respiratory symptoms daily by medical staff.