Tracking of COVID in Main Jail Finds Additional Positive Inmates

Tracking of COVID in Main Jail Finds Additional Positive Inmates title=
Santa Barbara County Jail (courtesy photo)
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Update by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
September 20, 2021

The Sheriff’s Office has identified additional COVID-19 positive inmates in the Main Jail as we continue to monitor a recent outbreak.  On Saturday, September 18, 2021, Wellpath PCR tested inmates from the West Module that had exposure to another COVID-19 positive inmate, but originally tested negative. Those tests results came in this morning, with 13 additional inmates testing positive for COVID-19.

Today, Wellpath also completed day five antigen testing of those inmates that continue to test negative. Five of those antigen tests came back positive. There are currently 66 COVID-19 positive inmates in the Main Jail. This brings the total number of COVID-19 positive inmates from this outbreak to 83, with 17 having recovered. Since August, 2021, there have been 5 custody staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 2 having recovered.

In consultation with Santa Barbara County Public Health, the Sheriff’s Office continues to take proactive measures in the Main Jail to safeguard the health of our inmates and staff. Inmates are tested when they arrive in our custody and are housed separately from the general population during the initial 14 days of their stay. They are tested again before they are moved out of the quarantine area into other areas of the facility. During their stay, inmates are tested whenever they exhibit symptoms and whenever they might have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. The Sheriff’s Office offers the COVID-19 vaccine to inmates in our care, and 35% of the current inmate population is fully vaccinated. Wellpath has administered 493 vaccinations since the beginning of the pandemic.

As we identify COVID-19 positive inmates, they are moved into an area of the facility that has negative pressure cells. In the case of an outbreak, only those with active symptoms are moved. The remainder are placed together in small groups (cohorts) and isolated from other inmates. We also separate those who were exposed but have not tested positive. Inmates with severe symptoms or who have underlying health conditions are transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment.

The Sheriff’s Office has worked on a continual basis with our Wellpath and Public Health partners to address this outbreak as well as to establish and constantly re-evaluate plans for health safety within the Main Jail. 62% of all custody staff have been vaccinated and all staff, regardless of vaccination status, are being tested daily per the recommendation of Public Health.


New COVID–19 Outbreak at County Main Jail

Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
September 18, 2021

A new outbreak of COVID – 19 positive inmates is currently being managed at the Santa Barbara County Jail. 

An outbreak investigation was started on August 20, 2021, with 11 inmates and one staff member testing positive in the South Module. Currently, the total number of inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19 since August 19, 2021, is 65 with 17 having recovered. There are currently 48 active cases among inmates in the facility that are being closely monitored by medical staff. These individuals are isolated for a minimum of 14 days and monitored by medical staff.  All exposed inmates are under quarantine, and will be tested per outbreak protocol

All inmates residing in West Module were antigen tested on September 17, 2021, to establish baseline and isolate infectious cases. Additional PCR testing will occur on September 18, 2021, to ensure all currently positive individuals are identified. One inmate had been hospitalized and 2 additional inmates have had hospital visits for monoclonal antibody treatment.

The total number of custodial staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 since August 19, 2021, is four. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer has directed daily antigen testing of all custodial staff for the next three days; on day three a decision will be made if continued daily testing is required.

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

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lovesbalot Sep 22, 2021 04:12 PM
Tracking of COVID in Main Jail Finds Additional Positive Inmates

As underscored by the World Health Organization, local efforts to control COVID-19 are likely to fail if authorities do not adopt strong measures in prisons and other places of detention. International standards for the protection of prisoners’ health—even during a pandemic—do exist and can be used by prisoners’ rights advocates to fight for appropriate health care. From the beginning of the pandemic, it was clear that densely packed prisons and jails — the result of decades of mass incarceration in the U.S. — offered ideal conditions for the transmission of the coronavirus. The virus has claimed thousands of lives behind bars and infected 1 out of every 3 people in prison.

lovesbalot Sep 21, 2021 03:02 PM
Tracking of COVID in Main Jail Finds Additional Positive Inmates

Basicinfo: Certainly agree with you that we need to do far better distributing vaccines in low income countries in particular. However the school district is able to have vaccination rates over 80% so why can't those in jail reach the same or better percentages. This is all part of the common good and certainly our jails can do a better job in countless ways. Further with over two million people behind bars at any given time, the United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. We spend about $182 billion every year — not to mention the significant social cost — to lock up nearly 1% of our adult population. And far too many are incarcerated due to poverty and low literacy rates. These are things we as a society can turn around for all of us.

Basicinfo805 Sep 21, 2021 02:12 PM
Tracking of COVID in Main Jail Finds Additional Positive Inmates

Look folks, everyone has had PLENTY OF TIME to get the shot if they want to. Shots are sitting around expiring here in the US, while other countries don’t have their fair share. This ‘feeling so sorry for the poor inmates who haven’t been vaccinated’ concept sounds like BS to me. How about personal responsibility?

lovesbalot Sep 21, 2021 12:42 PM
Tracking of COVID in Main Jail Finds Additional Positive Inmates

Getoffmylawn: You may find it interesting that many incarcerated have low literacy levels due to our school systems still using outdated reading instruction and doing too little too late. According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 70% of all incarcerated adults cannot read at a 4th grade level, “meaning they lack the reading skills to navigate many everyday tasks or hold down anything but lower (paying) jobs.” Data supports that those without sufficient income earned by work are the most prone to crime. With legal means of succeeding in society narrowed, illiteracy is heavily implicated in the crimes landing many behind bars in the first place. If anyone has made "stupid" decisions it is our education system that continues to offer to little too late. Those of means afford tutors , those that can't afford it often fall through the cracks. It's the system that fails many incarcerated when they were in elementary school. Look at the data on the school to prison pipeline.

lovesbalot Sep 21, 2021 09:45 AM
Tracking of COVID in Main Jail Finds Additional Positive Inmates

Only 35% of inmates vaccinated and only 62% of staff is negligence and ineptness in management.
If the school district can get over 80% of teachers vaccinated why can't the jail. Prisoners are getting sick most likely from the staff. Just because someone is incarcerated does not mean they don't have rights to appropriate protection. Mandate all prisoners get vaccinated or give incentives like months of their sentence for all who get vaccinated. Management is not managing. What happened in Lompoc resulted in a large lawsuit and fine. What happens in jails is a threat to us all. The pandemic is long way from over , with mutations on the way particularly in places where vaccination rates are low. Management needs an overhaul .

Luvaduck Sep 21, 2021 09:41 AM
Tracking of COVID in Main Jail Finds Additional Positive Inmates

Since many of the inmates come from populations that are being hardest hit and least vaccinated, it's no surprise, Incoming testing and temporary isolation should be manditory as should vaccination with the one-shot vaccine. It will protect them and others when they get out and they've signaled that they believe legal or illegal doesn't apply to them, so the "my freedom to infect others and shut-down hospitals" belief doesn't apply to them.

SantaBarbaraObserver Sep 21, 2021 08:20 AM
Tracking of COVID in Main Jail Finds Additional Positive Inmates

Its not too much of a stretch if you realize that the avg prison staffer (especially the guards) has around the same IQ as the average prisoner... these are not our best and brightest. So as such, most will need extra prodding. Like a cattle prod or in their case, a taser or a vaccine mandate... Round em up and shoot em up!

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