Daily updates on the COVID-19 crisis in California’s county jail system
1. Alameda County Jail (Santa Rita Jail) – Highlights
On May 4, another COVID-19 case emerged, two active cases were marked as resolved and one was released while positive. Now, there are only two active COVID-19 cases in custody– both of which are asymptomatic. 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 currently no housing pods quarantined.
- ACSO reports one current positive staff/contractor case as of May 4. There have been a total of 111 such cases, 110 of which have now recovered.
- Alameda County Public Health Dept. has mandated testing for ACSO employees from March 1 onward through a county health order.
- Between April 25 and May 1, only 365 ACSO SRJ staff were tested. The total number of staff that need to be tested is currently pending.
- Between April 11 and April 24, 828 ACSO SRJ staff were tested out of 1015, showing roughly an 82 percent compliance rate.
- SRJ’s population is currently 2174 people, showing a decrease of 16 people since May 3.
- 12,269 tests have been conducted to date, showing an increase of 77 tests. ACSO reports 123 pending tests.
- While the weekly testing rate has historically been low, it has decreased by one percent. 12 percent of the jail population was tested within the seven-day period prior to April 28, within the past week, 11 percent of the jail population was tested.
- SRJ has 190 orange patients, showing a decrease of four people since May 3. 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. Nearly nine percent of the jail population are medically vulnerable.
- SRJ has 7 red patients – showing a decrease of two people since May 3. Red patients have COVID-19 symptoms but are not COVID-19 positive.
- SRJ also has two dark red patients – showing a decrease of two people since May 3 despite one new COVID-19 case emerging today. 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.
- Vaccinations for the incarcerated population are administered Tuesday through Thursday. The vaccination stats are updated every Friday. The following stats are current as of May 1, 2021.
- 439 people received both shots of the Moderna vaccine or the single-shot Janssen vaccine while in custody. 348 of them are still in custody, meaning roughly 16 percent of the current population is fully vaccinated.
- 158 people received one shot of the vaccine while in custody. 131 of them are still in custody, meaning roughly 5 percent of the current population is partially vaccinated.
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 May 3, there are no active case in custody, out of 144 total confirmed cases. One formerly positive individual was released last week, leaving 10 resolved cases in custody. Similarly, four positive cases were released last week, bringing the total cases that were released while positive to 134.
There are 167 persons in quarantine, of which 30 are in medical isolation. Since Tuesday, April 27, the number of individuals in quarantine have decreased by 12, and the isolated cases have increased by 8.
Overall, there have been 11,170 total bookings since April 12 2020, an increase of 102 persons since Thursday, April 29. 16,467 cumulative tests have been administered thus far since the pandemic emerged.
Since the pandemic emerged, SF Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) has released the majority of confirmed positive cases unlike other county jails in California– 134 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 May 3, the incarcerated population is 789 people. For the majority of the pandemic, the population has stayed within the range of 750 to 850 people.
3. 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.
4. Sacramento County – Highlights
(Sacramento Main Jail & Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center)
As of April 28, there are 1788* cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Sacramento County Jail system
- Between April 21 and April 28, 4 active cases were reported in the Main Jail and 2 in the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC). Since the week of April 14, 3 new cases have been detected across both facilities.
- Between both facilities, the current population is 3208 people– a decrease of 113 individuals since the week of April 14, It is also the largest decrease since early January.
- Between April 21 and April 28, 380 new tests were administered meaning that 11.8 percent of the total Sacramento County jail population was newly tested.
- Only 195 tests were administered during the first week of March, indicating that the total weekly tests administered has more than doubled since then.
- 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 in custody and the number of resolved cases has not been reported since Aug. 19. While the county’s staff COVID-19 protocol suggests this data is documented, the Sacramento County’s Office of Information states that it is present in patients’ medical records but no aggregated count is available.
- As of April 21, 1090 individuals or 32.8 percent of the total Sacramento County jail population is fully vaccinated– an increase of 9 individuals since April 14. 153 or 4.6 percent of the population is partially vaccinated. It is important to note that the percent of the population vaccinated may be an overestimate since many fully vaccinated individuals may have subsequently been released from custody.
- As of April 14, 442 healthcare/jail staff have been vaccinated, however a breakdown of those who are fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated is unavailable. The exact healthcare/jail staff population count is also unclear.
- Between April 18 and April 24, 25 youth or 22.9 percent of the population was tested at the Youth Detention Facility (YDF).
- Since mid-April, 4 new active cases were reported at the YDF, of which 2 were released while active.
*Sacramento Sheriff’s Office reports that 76 duplicate positive results have been identified and removed from the total number of confirmed cases
5. Santa Clara County – Highlights
As of May 4, there are two active cases in the Santa Clara County jail system.
- There are currently 2397 total incarcerated people in custody– 6 less than the population as of May 3.
- Last Tuesday, there were 2,425 people in custody– the highest population recorded since the pandemic emerged. The population has been fluctuating between the 2300s and 2400s for the past few weeks.
- 24,485 tests have been completed thus far. 580 came back positive and 23,898 came back negative.
- 405 tests were administered last week, of which one test on April 27 and another on April 28 came back positive.
- 201 tests were administered on May 1. This has been the highest number of tests administered on a single-day since mid-January.
- There have been 598 cumulative positive cases. 171 cases were confirmed during booking and 427 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+. Now, everyone in custody at Elmwood Correctional Complex and Main jail as well those who are 16+ at juvenile halls are eligible for vaccines.
- As of April 6, 1,008 individuals in both jails and the juvenile detention facilities have been fully or partially vaccinated. In the Main Jail and Elmwood, 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. Further, 49 youth in juvenile detention have been vaccinated.
- As of April 6, 572 out of 1132 custody staff employees at the Sheriff’s Office have been fully vaccinated. This vaccination rate of 55 percent is not significantly higher than that reported two months prior. As of Feb. 9, 475 out of 1025 custody staff employees, or 46 percent, were fully vaccinated.
- It is important to note that the vaccine data for Sheriff’s Office employees only includes those who were vaccinated at the Public Safety Clinic, a vaccination site coordinated by the Santa Clara Public Health Dept. The data does not include employees who may have been vaccinated through their own providers.
- 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, Minerva Melendrez, Angela Khov, Alexander Ramirez & Aparna Komarla
Contact: Aparna Komarla (firstname.lastname@example.org)