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COVID-19 outbreak reported at Santa Barbara County Jail

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office announced it has been dealing with a new outbreak of COVID-19 in the main jail over the past month.

The sheriff's office said an outbreak investigation started on Aug. 20 after 11 inmates and one staff member tested positive for the virus in the jail's South Module.

According to the office, a total of 65 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 19; 17 of those inmates have fully recovered.

There are currently 48 known active cases of the virus among inmates at the facility. These inmates are being closely monitored by medical staff and isolated for a minimum of 14 days.

The sheriff's office said all exposed inmates are also under quarantine and are being tested per outbreak protocol.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is assisting the Sheriff’s Office in containing the outbreak by providing antigen testing kits, testing personnel and oversight of mitigation efforts.

The sheriff's office reportedly antigen tested all inmates living in the West Module of the jail on Friday, Sept. 17. These inmates are also scheduled to be PCR tested on Saturday to ensure all positively testing individuals are found and isolated.

At this time, one inmate has been hospitalized for the virus and two others visited the hospital for monoclonal antibody treatment.

A total of four custodial staff have tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 19.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has directed the sheriff's office to conduct daily antigen testing of all custodial staff members over the next three days. After that, the department will use the results to decide if daily testing should be continued.

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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