Weekly Testing Rate Drops By Twenty Percent at Sacramento County Jails – Breaking Down COVID-19 in CA Jails


(Page 1 & 2: Santa Rita Jail, Page 3 & 4: San Francisco County Jails, 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)
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Daily updates on the COVID-19 crisis in California’s county jail system

1. Alameda County Jail (Santa Rita Jail) – Highlights
As of April 15, two new COVID-19 cases have emerged. Minimal testing, poor quarantine protocols, and lack of proper testing suggest that there may be more cases than Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) reports. There are six housing pods quarantined, all of which are undergoing serial testing.

  • ACSO reports zero current positive staff/contractor cases as of April 15. There have been a total of 110 such cases, all of which 110 have now recovered.
  • Alameda County Public Health Dept. has mandated testing for ACSO employees from March 1 onward through a county health order. Between March 28 and April 10, 913 ACSO SRJ staff were tested.
  • SRJ’s population is currently 2147 people, showing a decrease of 1 person since April 14.
  • 11,581 tests have been conducted to date, showing an increase of 38 tests. ACSO reports 57 pending tests.
  • While the weekly testing rate has historically been low, it has increased by three percent. 14 percent of the jail population was tested within the seven-day period prior to April 8. Within the past week, 17 percent of the jail population was tested. Higher weekly testing rates may be a result of ongoing surveillance/serial testing.
  • SRJ has 199 orange patients, showing no change since April 14. 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. Approximately nine percent of the jail population are medically vulnerable.
  • SRJ has 5 red patients – showing a decrease of one person since April 14. Red patients have COVID-19 symptoms but are not COVID-19 positive.
  • SRJ also has two dark red patients – showing no change since April 14. 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 or HU8C) when cleared by medical.
  • 1307 incarcerated people were offered the first dose of the vaccine, of which 484 people or roughly 36 percent accepted. Those with underlying illnesses that make them vulnerable to developing complications associated with COVID-19 are prioritized under the distribution framework. (An accurate number of offered vaccines are currency pending from Wellpath.)
  • For the first dose, 270 people were given the Moderna vaccine and 214 were given the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
  • 220 incarcerated people accepted the second dose of the Moderna vaccine, two of which received their first dose prior to incarceration.
  • HU 24 A, B, and C remain quarantined due to an exposure to a COVID-19 positive patient. They have been moved to HU 35 A, B, and C for serial testing, which began on March 11. Mass testing began on March 11. Serial testing was extended by 14 days due to “positive reported cases” on March 27.
  • HU 33 A, B, and C have been quarantined due to an “exposure from positive COVID-19 patient upon release.” They remain subjected to serial testing with no set release date. (Last released from quarantine on Jan. 6.) Mass testing began on March 19. Serial testing was extended by 14 days due to a positive reported case on March 28.

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 April 15, there are two active case in custody, out of 141 total confirmed cases. One formerly positive individual was released this week, leaving 10 resolved cases in custody. Three positive cases were released this week, bringing the total cases that were released while positive to 133. 

There are 173 persons in quarantine, of which 26 are in medical isolation. Since April 8, the number of individuals in quarantine has decreased by 14, while the number of individuals in medical isolation increased by 4. 

Overall, there have been 10,797 total bookings since April 12, an increase of 200 persons since April 8. 15,364 cumulative tests have been administered to date. 346 of these cumulative tests have been administered since April 8.

Since the pandemic emerged, SF Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) has released the majority of confirmed positive cases unlike other county jails in California– 133 positive individuals were released while active. SFSO continues to display an increasing trend of such releases. This strategy has aided the jails in keeping their active cases under strict control, evidenced by the fact that there have been no outbreaks since the pandemic emerged. The highest number of cases recorded on a single day was 9. 

As of April 16, the incarcerated population is 769 people, a decrease of 21 since last week.

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 April 14, there have been 1783 cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Sacramento County Jail system.

  • Between April 7 and April 14, 3 active cases were reported in the Main Jail– indicating that one case was either released or resolved since last week, and the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC) reported 4 active cases– the same count as last week. 
  • Across both facilities, the current population is 3297 people, a decrease of 70 individuals since April 7. This has been the largest decrease in population since early-January.
  • Between April 7 and April 14, 266 new tests have been administered, implying that 8.1 percent of the total Sacramento County jail population has been newly tested. There has been a 19.1 decrease in weekly tests since the first week of April.
  • During January and February, the weekly testing rate was between 15-20 percent and active cases in custody were in the hundreds. The continuous decline in testing between the months of March and April suggests that there may be more active cases in custody than reported.
  • Data on the number of active cases released from custody and the number of resolved cases have yet to be reported since August 19 despite multiple PRA requests submitted by the Vanguard.  
  • Although the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office reports that inmate vaccinations are in process, exact figures on this have yet to be released. Staff have been offered vaccinations, but data on those who have agreed to receive doses is also unavailable
  • During the week of April 4, 9 tests were administered at the Youth Detention Facility (YDF) uncovering one positive case. 22 tests were administered during the week of March 27, suggesting that testing has declined significantly at the YDF, similar to trends observed at the Main Jail and RCCC. 

*Sacramento Sheriff’s Office reports that 76 duplicate positive results have been identified and removed from the total number of confirmed cases

6. Santa Clara County – Highlights
As of April 14, there are no active cases in the Santa Clara County jail system. No cases have been reported since April 7.

  • The population is currently at 2357 people, a decrease of 12 since April 12.
  • 23,140 tests have been completed since the pandemic emerged, resulting in 575 positive results and 22,558 negative results. 
  • There have been 593 cumulative cases, of which 167 were confirmed during booking and 426 cases were confirmed in custody.
  • Vaccinations for the incarcerated population began on Jan. 26, 2021. The jail system has prioritized high-risk individuals and those 65 and older. Now, all individuals in Elmwood Correctional Complex and the Main jail as well those who are 16+ in juvenile detention, are eligible for vaccines.
  • 1008 individuals in both county jails and juvenile detention facilities have been fully or partially vaccinated. In the Main Jail and Elmwood CC, 795 have been fully vaccinated and 164 have received their first dose, meaning roughly 41 percent of the jail population is on track to be vaccinated fully. 49 youth in juvenile detention have been vaccinated.
  • 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 —https://www.alamedacountysheriff.org/admin_covid19.php.
SF County: Director of Communications, San Francisco Sheriff’s Office.

Information on COVID-19 cases in jails: https://www.sfsheriff.com/covid-19-jail-sfso-staff-data 
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: https://lasd.org/covid19updates/
Orange County: Orange County Sheriff’s Department: https://www.ocsd.org/about_ocsd/covid_19
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, Alyson Lee, Koda Sligluff, Angela Khov & Aparna Komarla

Contact: Aparna Komarla (apkomarla@ucdavis.edu)


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2 thoughts on “Weekly Testing Rate Drops By Twenty Percent at Sacramento County Jails – Breaking Down COVID-19 in CA Jails”

  1. Bill Marshall

    SF Sheriff’s Office has released the majority of confirmed positive cases — 107 positive cases were released while active.

    Hmmm… what is better for the community and the inmates… releasing folk BEFORE they test positive, or AFTER?

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