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12 inmates test positive for COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County Jail

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) Santa Cruz Sheriff's office reported that around 12 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, Nov. 12.

"This is the most significant outbreak in our jail since the start of the pandemic," Sgt. Daniel Robbins said in a press release.

According to Robbins, the inmates who tested positive are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and are currently under quarantine protocol. Between 35-40 inmates were reported to be exposed and are also under quarantine.

Santa Cruz County Jail protocol is to isolate the inmates and have medical staff monitor them. Robbins said that people brought into the jail have to take a rapid test -- a polymerase chain reaction test -- and quarantine until they receive a negative test result. He also said that inmates are offered the COVID-19 vaccine, provided masks, given extra cleaning materials, and encouraged to socially distance themselves.

"Our office is working closely with our medical provider at the jail as well as Santa Cruz County Public Health. We are currently investigating the source of the outbreak as contact tracing is underway," Robbins said. "We are committed to ensuring the safety of all 279 inmates at the main jail as well as our staff."

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Melody Waintal

Melody Waintal is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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