Massive Outbreak at Sacramento County Main Jail; Over Hundred New Cases in a Week – Breaking Down COVID-19 in CA Jails


(Page 1 & 2: San Francisco County Jails, Page 3 & 4: Santa Rita Jail, Page 5: Sacramento County Jails, Page 6: Sacramento County Juvenile Hall, Page 7 & 8: Santa Clara County Jails, Page 9 & 10: BSCC Data – All County Jails & Juvenile Detention Facilities)

Daily updates on the COVID-19 crisis in California’s county jail system

1. Alameda County Jail (Santa Rita Jail) – Highlights
On Jan. 13, one person was released from custody while positive and another positive case was identified in custody. There are currently 7 active COVID-19 cases in custody – 5 asymptomatic and 2 symptomatic. However, minimal testing, poor quarantine protocols, and lack of proper testing suggest that there may be more cases than ACSO reports. There are currently 11 housing units quarantined.

  • ACSO reports 3 current positive staff/contractor cases. One new case emerged on Jan. 13. There have been a total of 94 such cases, of which 91 have recovered.
  • SRJ’s population is currently 2094 people, showing a decrease of 21 people since Jan. 12. 
  • 7065 tests have been conducted to date, showing an increase of 20 tests. ACSO reports 137 pending tests.
  • While the weekly testing rate has consistently been low, it has increased by two percent. 8 percent of the jail population was tested within the seven-day period prior to Jan. 7. In the past week, 10 percent of the jail population was tested.
  • SRJ has 173 orange patients – showing a decrease of three people since Jan. 12. Orange patients are currently healthy but considered at increased risk for COVID-19 according to the SRJ patient color coding system outlined in the SRJ COVID-19 Outbreak Control Plan.
  • SRJ has 28 red patients – showing an increase of six people since Jan. 12. Red patients have COVID-19 symptoms but are not COVID-19 positive.
  • SRJ also has 7 dark red patients – showing no change since Jan. 12 despite one new case reported. Dark red patients have positive COVID-19 test results.
  • Red and dark red patients are released individually from their respective housing locations (Outpatient Housing Unit (OPHU), HU8A, HU8C, or HU34) when cleared by medical.
  • While HU 35 A, B, and C was scheduled to be released on Jan. 5, COVID-19 results came back positive for index cases. Serial testing is being performed, and no quarantine end date is currently available.
  • HU 3 B has extended its quarantine until Jan. 27 due to a patient presenting symptoms on Jan. 12. (This housing pod was last quarantined on May 23)

Source: The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office updates their website daily with COVID-19 case and testing numbers from the jail. Darby Aono, a Berkeley Law student, has been recording the daily reports in a spreadsheet going back to early spring. 

2. San Francisco County Jails – Highlights
As of Jan. 12, there are only 4 active cases in custody. There have been a total of 103 confirmed cases since April.

There are 178 persons in quarantine, of which 53 are in medical isolation. Since Dec. 31, the quarantine population decreased by 42 whereas the medical isolation population remains unchanged. These data points are updated weekly.

Overall, there have been 8,118 total bookings since April, an increase of 102 persons since Jan. 8. 10,156 total tests have been administered thus far (updated on 1/9).

Since the pandemic emerged, SF Sheriff’s Office has released the majority of confirmed positive cases — 97 positive cases were released while active. SFSO continues to display an increasing trend of such releases. This strategy has aided SF jails in keeping their active cases under strict control unlike other counties in California.  

As of Jan. 12, the incarcerated population is 779 people, a decrease in 21 persons since Jan 8. It has consistently remained under 800 people since 11/13/20.

3. Solano County – Highlights
Solano County Jail
As of Aug. 17, there is 1 active case of COVID-19 in the jail. Since testing began in June, there have been five total confirmed cases. 421 total tests have been administered, 137 more than last week.

Solano Juvenile Detention Center
As of Aug. 17, there are still no confirmed cases in JDF. All individuals are tested at intake and are able to request another test if necessary.

4. Yolo County – Highlights
Yolo County Jail
As of Oct. 12, there are no confirmed cases out of 53 total tests administered in the jail. The jail population is currently 208, a slight increase since the last recorded population count on August 3, which was 193 persons. 1 person is in medical isolation in the jail.

Yolo County Juvenile Hall
As of July 13, Juvenile Hall reported one positive case out of the 24 tests conducted.

  • According to Yolo County Counsel, Phil Pogledich, “The one positive case is for a youth that tested at a local hospital before he was detained”. 
  • Data shows that the youth who tested positive was released while he was still COVID-19 active.

5. Sacramento County – Highlights
(Sacramento Main Jail & Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center)

As of  Jan. 14, there are 811 cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Sacramento County Jail system. There is a massive outbreak of 111 cases at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC) and 182 cases in the Main Jail.

  • Between Jan. 7 – Jan. 14, 154 new active cases were reported in the Main Jail. This is a six fold increase in active cases since New Years Day, when only 28 cases were reported.
  • This is also the second highest active cases count in RCCC since the pandemic emerged. During the week of Dec. 22, RCCC reported just 58 active cases, implying that cases have nearly tripled since then. 
  • Further, RCCC continuously reported no cases for the past 8 months.
  • Between Jan. 7 – Jan. 14, 1,073 tests were administered across both jails, i.e. roughly 14.05 percent of the population was tested. Previously, the total tests administered per week typically ranged from 200-400.
  • The total population across both jails is 3,166 people, showing an decrease of 106 people since the previous week.
  • No data provided on the active cases released from custody and the resolved cases.
  • Between Jan. 2 – Jan. 9, 13 youth were tested in the Youth Detention Facility and one case was confirmed. However, this case was resolved leaving no active cases in custody.
  • Sacramento Jail’s COVID-19 cover-up –

6. LA County – Highlights
LA Jail:
As of Sept. 14, there are 49 active cases of COVID-19 in the LA jail system.

  • Of the 49 active cases of the virus within the jail, 42 individuals are symptomatic and 7 asymptomatic. Since testing began, 2888 individuals have recovered from COVID-19 and 265 individuals were released while active. 
  • The total number of incarcerated people tested is approximately 23,058.
  • Since yesterday, 39 new individuals have been booked into the jail, and 51 have been released.
  • There are 43 results pending and 85 incarcerated people in medical isolation.

Note: According to LASD, isolation is designated for individuals with a temperature of 100.4 or higher, or exhibiting certain flu-like symptoms consistent with an upper respiratory infection. All patients in isolation/under observation have either tested positive or are pending results. Further, quarantine is designated for individuals who have had close contact with someone pending test results or a positive patient.

7. Orange County – Highlights
As of Sept. 15, there have been 556 total COVID-19 cases in the Orange County Jail. 

  • Currently, there are 19 active cases in the jail and 72 results pending.
  • At this time, there are 19 incarcerated people in medical isolation due to exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
  • There have been no significant increase in COVID-19 cases.

8. Santa Clara County – Highlights
As of Jan. 13, there are 109 active cases in custody in the Santa Clara County jail system – the lowest it has been in about a week. It has been in the triple digits since Jan. 6. 

  • Cases have been rising since the beginning of December — went from double digits to 100+ cases by the first week of January. Active cases have risen by nearly 650 percent since Dec. 31, when there were only 17 cases in custody. The highest case count so far was 127 on January 11. 
  • The jail population is currently at 2196 people – a decrease of 14 people since Jan. 12. This is also the lowest population count in three days. On January 11 and 12, the population count was in the 2200s. 
  • Last week, 894 tests were administered resulting in 77 positive results. 36 positive results were recorded on Monday of last week, marking the highest positivity rate in Santa Clara jails since August. 
  • Since Sunday, Jan. 10, 378 tests have been administered resulting in 40 positive results. 16 on Sunday, 2 on Monday, and 22 on Tuesday. 
  • In total, 15,987 tests have been completed since the pandemic emerged. 
  • There are 480 cumulative cases. 35 new cases have been reported since January 11.
  • Concerns from incarcerated people at Elmwood CC in Milpitas, Santa Clara County suggest that testing, sanitation, and quarantine protocols are not thorough enough to protect them from COVID-19.


Alameda County: County Sheriff’s Office updates their website at the end of the day with case and testing numbers from the jail —
SF County: Director of Communications, San Francisco Sheriff’s Office.
Information on booking statistics:
Information on COVID-19 cases in jails: 
Solano County: Deputy Leron Cummings, the Public Information Officer, Solano County Sheriff’s Office and Shai Davis, Public Information Officer, Solano County Public Health Office.
Yolo County: Lieutenant Matt Davis, Yolo County Sheriff’s Department and Philip Pogledich, Yolo County Counsel
LA County: Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Custody Division COVID-19 Fact Sheet:
Orange County: Orange County Sheriff’s Department:
Santa Clara County: Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office:
Sacramento County: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office:
Board of State & Community Corrections (BSCC): On July 15, BSCC Chair, Linda Penner,  requested Sheriffs and Chief Probation Officers to release weekly COVID-19 data for jails and Youth Detention Facilities. This database remains incomplete as many facilities have refused to comply. Further, it does not contain historical data prior to July 20.

By Tiffany Devlin, Alana Bleimann, Ozge Terzioglu, Angela Khov & Aparna Komarla

Contact: Aparna Komarla (


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