Questions Arise as Solano County Jails Continually Report 0 Cases – Weekly Highlights – Breaking Down COVID-19 in CA Jails

By Nikki Suzani

Highlights (July 11th – July 18th)

  • The total number of confirmed cases is still 0 in both Solano County Jail and Solano County Juvenile Detention Facility (JDF), while there are 2,372 confirmed cases and 31 deaths in Solano County itself. 
  • The number of tests administered in the jail increased significantly this week — 166 tested as of July 17th in comparison to 95 as of July 11th, reflecting an increase of 175% over 7-days. Testing in the jail started on June 2nd and on June 14th in JDF.
  • 196 individuals have been booked into the jail since July 11th and 0 have been booked into JDF.

Both facilities have been taking steps to ensure adequate testing is in place.

  • Individuals are now able to request testing in both facilities, regardless of whether they are symptomatic.
  • All new intakes in JDF are tested before entering the center. Since testing became available, everyone who was symptomatic was tested. 

It is unclear what precautions the facilities have taken to limit the spread of infections.

  • Both facilities halted in-person visitors on March 13th.
  • A request sent on July 16th about the conditions in the jail to Le’Ron Cummings, Solano Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, is still being processed.
  • A series of calls to JDF’s Medical Department and the Probation Office on July 15th inquiring about precautions taken have not been responded to.
  • It is unclear why, out of approximately 300 people in the jail and 200 people in JDF, not all are being tested — especially as it appears that there are sufficient tests available for the population. 

According to Solano Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Le’Ron Cummings, the current system to track the number of tests and cases in the jail is available to only a select few. However, recent communication from the State suggests that the County will set up an online system for daily tracking. It is not yet clear, according to Cummings, whether that system will be available to the public. 

The lack of transparency even towards officials in the Sheriff’s Office, is concerning, especially as the disease continues to ravage Solano County. The minimal number of tests administered in addition to the lack of public information, suggest that the facilities may have more cases than the confirmed count.

Source: Deputy Le’Ron Cummings, Public Information Officer – Solano County Sheriff’s Office and Shai Davis, Public Information Officer – Solano County Health Department.

About The Author

The Covid In-Custody Project partners with the Davis Vanguard to report on the pandemic's impact on California's county jails and state prisons. See for more information.

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