The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:
The Mendocino County Jail has had an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst the inmate population and staff. The Sheriff’s Office has continued to utilize personal protective equipment for jail staff as well as abided by all mandates and direction from the CDC, Cal OSHA and the Public Health Doctor. Despite our best efforts, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the jail. Some of the difficulties in preventing the spread are the open-air design of the aging jail facility, the constant turnover of inmates in custody and the rise in COVID-positive arrestees being brought into the facility.
In the last two weeks, the jail has seen 62 cases of COVID-19 among the inmates. Several inmates have recovered in custody while some others have been released by the courts and returned home to finish their isolation period. The current number of cases in the jail is 45.
As part of the safety procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the jail, all incoming arrestees are tested upon entry into the facility. Once booked into custody, arrestees are quarantined for 10-days. The entire jail population is tested twice weekly. Staff members are likewise tested twice a week at the beginning and end of their workweek.
Inmates in affected areas are being quarantined in order to prevent further spread. Some early releases of sentenced inmates who are approaching their release date have been done in order to decrease the jail population. The jail is also continuing to cite out lower-risk offenders to control the population.
Jail staff has also been affected by the recent surge of COVID-19. Since December 2021, 29 jail employees including correctional staff, support staff, nurses and administrative staff have tested positive.
To date, inmates and staff have reported only minor symptoms as a result of their COVID-19 exposure.