Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Announces COVID-19 Outbreak in County Jail


The following press release was issued by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office

[Picture provided by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office]

The Sheriff’s Office is taking extensive action to mitigate the spread of COVID at the County Jail. However, with the increased community spread of COVID, the Sheriff’s Office is seeing increased COVID cases at the Main Adult Detention Facility, commonly called the County Jail. Since November 30th, 28 COVID cases have been reported at the Jail. We’ve had 18 inmates and 10 staff test positive with no deaths or hospitalizations. Right now, 11 inmates and two staff members are COVID-positive.

The health and safety of our inmates and our staff are a top priority for the Sheriff’s Office, and we are doing everything in our power to prevent further exposure. We continue to work closely with County Public Health to evaluate the effectiveness of our COVID protocol and make improvements, if identified. We sincerely appreciate their guidance and support. Some of our protocol include:

  • Mandatory mask-wearing by inmates and staff
  • Surveillance testing
  • Quarantine procedures
  • Air filtration
  • Surface disinfection
  • Reduced interaction between inmates
  • Significantly reduced visitation
  • Requesting local law enforcement agencies bring suspects in for booking only if they’re arrested for serious, violent, or sexual crimes

The Sheriff’s Office must accept every arrestee brought to the County Jail for booking. We want to emphasize that the vast majority of COVID-positive inmates are positive when they arrive. Every new inmate is quarantined and tested for the virus. If their test result is negative, they complete their quarantine and are then housed with the rest of the inmates. If their test result is positive, they are moved to a negative pressure room until they are no longer contagious. To date, 12 inmates tested positive for COVID within four days of being booked.

We recently learned there appears to be transmission of COVID within the Jail, as well. We’re working closely with County Public Health to ensure all inmates and staff who may be have been exposed are tested and quarantined, and that certain areas within the Jail are thoroughly disinfected.

Our jail population changes daily as inmates are booked and released. Currently there are 675 inmates housed at the County Jail with approximately 310 staff and contractors assigned to the facility. You may read the Detention Division’s COVID protocol here: https://static1.squarespace.com/…/SCSO+Communicable….

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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