SLO County Jail staffer tests positive for coronavirus

July 11, 2020

An employee at the San Luis Obispo County Jail began coughing at work on July 6 and was sent home and asked to get a coronavirus test. The test came back positive.

The unnamed employee had just returned to work after being on vacation. As soon as the employee began displaying signs he was ill, his supervisor sent him home.

As a precaution, affected areas of the jail have been placed on quarantine.

It is suspected the employee contracted the virus through community spread, and not at the jail.

“Incarcerated populations are very high risk for contracting COVID-19 because of the close living quarters,” said Dr. Christy Mulkerin, the sheriff’s office chief medical officer. “That’s why the Sheriff’s Office has been proactive in practicing infection control measures since March to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Jail.”

Precautions include daily screening for staff at the beginning of their shift, use of masks and gloves with any inmate interaction, increased facility-wide cleanings multiple times per day, quarantine of all arrestees for 14 days and routine coronavirus testing for all inmates and staff.

At this time, no inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus, and this is the first staff member affected.