Juvenile Probation Officer Tests Positive for COVID-19

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Source: Santa Barbara County Probation Department

Chief Probation Officer Tanja Heitman reported [Friday] that a Juvenile Institution Officer assigned to the Santa Barbara Probation Department’s Santa Maria Juvenile Hall (SMJH) notified the Department they tested positive for COVID-19.

The Probation Department has a comprehensive COVID-19 Management Plan that addresses this situation, including temperature and health questionnaire screening prior to entering the facility and directives advising staff not to come to work ill. In this case, prior to reporting to work for their normal shift, the staff called out sick due to feeling ill during their days off. The staff was tested by their personal physician for COVID-19, and the results were positive. Through collaboration with Wellpath Medical and the County Public Health Department, additional youth and staff are being tested as part of contact tracing requirements. All youth tested negative and we are awaiting the results for staff.

The Probation Department remains focused on and responsive to the mental and physical well-being of youth and staff during this challenging and stressful situation, and are taking steps to ensure their wellness. The Department is continuing to make decisions based on best practices in health and safety standards for the youth under their care, their officers, and the community. Everyone is encouraged to visit the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department website at https://publichealthsbc.org/ for more information on COVID-19.

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