Daily updates on the COVID-19 crisis in California’s county jail system
1. Alameda County Jail (Santa Rita Jail) – Highlights
One new COVID-19 case emerged over the weekend. As of June 13, there are two active asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in custody. 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 four housing pods quarantined.
- ACSO reports zero current positive staff/contractor cases as of June 13. There have been a total of 114 staff/contractor cases, 114 of which have recovered.
- Alameda County Public Health Dept. has mandated testing for ACSO employees from March 1 onward through a county health order.
- Between the May 30 and June 12 testing period, 916 ACSO SRJ staff were tested. The total number of staff required to comply is currently pending.
- Between May 9 through May 22, 820 ACSO SRJ staff were tested out of 958 total staff, roughly an 86 percent compliance rate.
- SRJ’s population is currently 2098 people, showing a decrease of 52 people since June 12.
- 14,071 tests have been conducted to date, showing an increase of 103 tests over the weekend since June 11. ACSO reports 83 pending tests.
- While the weekly testing rate has historically been low, it has decreased by one percent. 18 percent of the jail population was tested within the seven-day period prior to June 7. In the past week, 17 percent of the jail population was tested. The weekly testing rate may be inflated due to ongoing serial testing.
- SRJ has 187 orange patients, showing no change since June 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. Nearly nine percent of the jail population are medically vulnerable.
- SRJ has 3 red patients – showing a decrease of four people since June 12. Red patients have COVID-19 symptoms but are not COVID-19 positive.
- SRJ also has two dark red patients. 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 June 11, 2021.
- 773 people received both shots of the Moderna vaccine or the single-shot Janssen vaccine while in custody. 561 of them are still in custody, meaning roughly 26 percent of the current population is fully vaccinated.
- 92 people received one shot of the vaccine while in custody. 26 of them are still in custody, meaning roughly 1 percent of the current population is partially vaccinated.
- HU 8 F was quarantined on June 12 due to an exposure with a red patient presenting with symptoms. They will be quarantined until June 26 unless the index case tests negative. (Last released from quarantine on June 25, 2020.)
- HU 31 D, E, and F were quarantined under “yellow medical” due to a patient testing positive in HU 31 F pod. They are currently subject to serial testing. (Last released from quarantine on Jan. 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 June 10, there are no active COVID-19 cases in custody, out of 150 total confirmed cases. Since the beginning of last month, May, six new cases have been identified during booking or in custody. All of them were either released while active, released after recovery or are still in custody after recovery.
- 7 formerly positive cases are still in custody. This number has not changed in five weeks.
- Since the pandemic emerged, a total of 143 cases out of 150 confirmed cases were either released while positive or released after recovery.
- The number of active cases in custody has not been greater than 2 since late February.
- Since June 3, the quarantine population decreased by 2, and the isolated cases decreased by 27. Thus, as of June 10, there are 150 persons in quarantine, of which 21 are in medical isolation.
- Between June 7 and June 9, 58 individuals were booked into custody. Since the pandemic emerged, there have been 12,353 total bookings. Despite the high intake rate, the incarcerated population has consistently stayed within the range of 750 to 850 people since April 2020. Currently, there are 783 people in custody– an increase of 2 people since June 9.
- Between May 22 and June 5, approximately 576 tests were administered for new books and residents.
- During the pandemic, San Francisco Sheriff’s Office has displayed an increasing trend of releasing individuals with positive cases or individuals who have recovered while in custody. There have been 143 such releases thus far. This strategy has aided the jails in keeping their active cases under strict control, evidenced by the fact that there have been no major outbreaks since the pandemic emerged. In fact, the highest number of cases recorded on a single day was 9.
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 June 9, there are 1801* cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Sacramento County Jail system
- Between June 2 and June 9, 4 active COVID-19 cases were reported in the Main Jail, while the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC) reported only 1 case. This suggests that 4 new cases have been uncovered since the last report on June 2.
- Between both facilities, the population is 3084 people, an increase of 70 in one week. This is the first increase in the population county since early-April, as the population was on a downward trajectory until late-May.
- Between June 2 and June 9, 261 new tests were administered to new books and residents, meaning that at most 8.4 percent of the total Sacramento County jail population was newly tested. Since the population is constantly in flux with new bookings, releases and transfers, it is possible that this percentage is an overestimate.
- 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 since the month of March suggests that there may be more active cases 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 Office of Information has declined to provide this data
- As of June 2, 1277 or 42.3 percent of the total Sacramento County jail population is fully vaccinated– an increase of 154 individuals since the beginning of May. 243 or 8.1 percent of the population is partially vaccinated. It is important to note that the percent of the population vaccinated may be an overestimate since fully vaccinated individuals may have subsequently been released from custody.
- As of June 2, 417 healthcare/Sheriff’s Office staff have been fully vaccinated and 21 staff are partially vaccinated. The exact number of healthcare/jail staff population is unavailable, making it difficult to report on the proportion of staff that is immunized.
- Between May 30 and June 5, 25 youth or 21.9 percent of the population was tested at the Youth Detention Facility (YDF). This has been the largest increase in testing since the beginning of May.
- Between May 30 and June 5, the JDF has reported 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 with no active cases currently being in custody. 1 active case has also been released.
*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 June 11, there is 1 active case in the Santa Clara County jail system.
- There are currently 2,373 total incarcerated people in custody– 10 less than the population count on June 10.
- On April 20, the population reached a record high number of 2,425 people. This is the highest number recorded since the pandemic emerged.
- 27,418 tests have been completed. 584 came back positive and 26,826 came back negative. 79 tests were completed between June 10 and June 11, and all came back negative.
- There have been 605 cumulative positive cases. 184 cases were confirmed during booking and 421 were confirmed in custody.
- On June 1, while the cumulative positive cases only increased by 2 to 603 confirmed cases, the number of cases confirmed at intake increased by 8 and the amount confirmed during booking decreased by 6.
- 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 Aparna Komarla, Tiffany Devlin, Aziza Nussipov, Minerva Melendrez, Angela Khov & Alexander Ramirez
Contact: Aparna Komarla (email@example.com)