Quarantine in Place in OC Jails as More Inmates Test Positive for Virus


SANTA ANA (CNS) - Four more inmates in Orange County's jails have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 10 and prompting sheriff's officials to implement a full quarantine in the men's and women's jails, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes told Orange County supervisors today.

Three men and one woman tested positive Monday night, said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's department. Sheriff's officials are awaiting tests on two more inmates, Barnes said.

Nineteen inmates are in “medical isolation,” meaning they are showing symptoms of coronavirus, Barnes said.

“So far, we have tested 30 individuals who are symptomatic,” Barnes said. “About one in three are coming back positive.”

The sheriff added, “We are isolating anyone that has flu-like symptoms in our jail.”

There are 159 inmates quarantined, meaning they have not shown symptoms, but have come in contact with others who have tested positive, Barnes said.

Two sheriff's deputies tested positive for COVID-19 last week. One is assigned to Theo lacy Jail in Orange and the other to the main jail in Santa Ana. Both are recuperating at home.

The sheriff has released 331 inmates shortly before their sentences were up, and, of those, 108 were deemed at risk because of their age or underlying health risks. All of the inmates released were serving terms for nonviolent crimes, Barnes said.

The county's jails housed 5,200 inmates as of March 6, but as of Monday morning the population was under 4,000, Barnes said.

Photo: Getty Images

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