SANTA MARIA — Five more inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Northern Branch Jail.
They were identified by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Custody staff and their Wellpath healthcare partners.
There are now 11 active COVID cases at the facility near Santa Maria, and all are asymptomatic, said Raquel Zick, the public information officer for the sheriff’s office.
The Northern Branch Jail was recently populated with 244 inmates who were transferred from the county’s Main Jail in Santa Barbara. Prior to the transfer, all the inmates — and all transporting and receiving staff — tested negative for COVID-19, Ms. Zick said in a news release.
She explained the transfer was conducted after consultation with the Public Health Department and in accordance with a public Health Order. All the transferred inmates were quarantined and tested daily since their arrival.
It was during this surveillance testing that the COVID-19 positive inmates were identified, Ms. Zick said.
— Dave Mason