Santa Clara Jail System Reduces COVID-19 Active Cases from 91 to 6 in 14-Day Period


By Linh Nguyen

Over the last two weeks, the Santa Clara County jail system managed to reduce their number of active cases from 91 to as low as 6 cases.

Last week, the number of active cases among the population dropped from 91 to 22 in a matter of nine days. This week, that number dropped to as low as six cases. On Thursday Aug. 27 and Friday Aug. 28, the number of cases rose by two, now reaching 8 active cases. 

Nearly 300 tests have been completed since last week, raising the number of completed tests to 6370.

Since the outbreak emerged in March, the Santa Clara County jail system reduced their jail and inmate population from over 3000 to steadily over 2000. 

The data and statistics is obtained from the Santa Clara County Office of the Sheriff Jail Population and Inmate COVID-19 Data dashboard on their website. This dashboard presents the aggregate of all inmates in the county’s jail system; it is not separated by jail facility (Elmwood Correctional Facility and the SC Main Jail). 

The dashboard does not present information for COVID-19 related deaths, releases while active or resolved cases. In the past, it contained information on in-custody positive cases, however it was removed from the dashboard. 

As for jail staff, there are currently nine active cases of COVID-19 among employees. 30 employees have recovered. 1824 tests have been completed for employees. According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, if a staff member “exhibits flu-like symptoms, the staff member will be removed from the jail facility and placed on leave to seek medical attention and self-quarantine.”

On Wednesday Aug. 26, Santa Clara County Superior Court Presiding Judge Deborah Ryan issued an order that would extend the emergency bail schedule to January 2021. The order requires bail set at zero dollars for non-violent felonies and misdemeanors. The emergency bail schedule was first ordered in Santa Clara County in April out of concern of increased transmission of COVID-19 between detainees.


Santa Clara County: Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office:


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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