Sheriff’s Offices in Alameda, Santa Clara and San Francisco Report Massive COVID-19 Outbreaks

Share:

This report is written by the Covid In-Custody Project — an independent journalism project that partners with the Davis Vanguard to bring reporting on the pandemic in California’s county jails and Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to the public eye. Refer to our website to view and download the raw data.

1. Alameda County Jail (Santa Rita Jail) – Highlights

Incarcerated Population

Cases and testing update:

  • As of Jan. 13, there are 313 active COVID-19 cases in Santa Rita Jail (SRJ). This is the largest outbreak in the jails since March 2020.
  • Five individuals were released from custody in the past week whilst having an active infection.

Population update:

  • There are 2206 people in custody. Since September, the population has been relatively constant barring a few surges. At the beginning of 2021, over 170 individuals in custody were pending transfer to the state prison system. This number has dropped to 9 as of Sept. 17.
  • SRJ has 182 medically vulnerable or “orange” patients in custody. These patients are healthy but considered at increased risk for developing complications associated with COVID-19 according to the jail’s Outbreak and Control Plan.
  • SRJ has 33 “red” patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. These patients have not tested positive either because they refused testing or are awaiting their test results.

Vaccination update:

  • Vaccinations for the incarcerated population are administered Tuesday through Thursday. The following stats are as of Jan.13, 2021.
    • In total, 1346 people were either fully vaccinated prior to or during their incarceration. 622 of them are still in custody, meaning 28.2% of the current jail population is fully vaccinated.
    • Similarly, 53 out of 173 partially vaccinated individuals are still in custody, meaning only 3.5% of the current population is partially vaccinated.

Housing unit quarantine update:

  • HU 2C is under quarantine due to an individual presenting with symptoms. 
  • HU 4C and HU 7CD are under quarantine due to exposure to those testing positive. 
  • HU 7B, HU 8C, HU 9C, HU 24ABC, HU 25ABC, HU 31ABC, HU 31DEF, HU 32ALL, HU 33DEF, and HU 34DEF are under quarantine due to individuals testing positive. 
Staff

Cases and testing update:

  • The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) reports 86 current positive staff/contractor cases. There have been a total of 304 staff/contractor cases during the pandemic, 218 of which have recovered.
  • On March 1, the Alameda County Public Health Dept. (ACPHD) issued a mandatory testing order for ACSO’s jail employees. According to the order, staff were required to get tested every 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status. Information on compliance with this order can be found here. On July 26 2021, the CA Dept. of Public Health (CDPH) issued a mandatory testing order for unvaccinated staff only, thereby overriding the county’s order.
    • According to data reported by the ACSO, in the Dec. 3 – Dec. 10 testing period, out of 1179 staff that are assigned to work at SRJ, 614 were fully vaccinated and another 85 were exempted since they did not work a shift at the jail. Out of the 480 remaining staff that needed to comply with the state’s order, 439 or 91% submitted to a test. 

Vaccination update:

  • According to data released by ACSO, as of Dec. 10, 59% of the entire ACSO staff, and 57.9% of ACSO’s jail staff are fully vaccinated.
    • Since October, the number of fully vaccinated ACSO staff who work at SRJ has increased by 9.6%. This includes not only ACSO employees who belong to the custody bureau but also those who work at other duty stations and are assigned to work at SRJ on mandatory overtime.
  • According to the CDPH’s Aug. 19 health order, all medical staff members who work in custody settings that provide in-house medical care must get vaccinated by Oct. 14. The order also requires non-medical staff who may transmit infections by virtue of being in a medical setting to get vaccinated. 

2. San Francisco County Jails – Highlights

Incarcerated Population

Cases and testing update:

  • As of Jan. 13, there are 31 active COVID-19 cases in custody, out of 311 total confirmed cases. Since December, 90 new cases were identified during the intake booking process or in custody. This is the largest outbreak in the jails since March 2020. 

Population update: 

  • 73 individuals were booked into custody last year. Throughout the pandemic, the jail population had consistently stayed between 750 to 850 people, although there were 18,455 bookings in total. This trend is now reversing as the population has been steadily rising since October. Currently, there are 868 people in custody.

Vaccination update:

Quarantine and Isolation update:

  • Since Jan. 6, the population under quarantine and isolation has increased by 99 and decreased by 39 respectively. As of Jan. 13, there are 108 people in medical isolation and 187 people in quarantine.

Releases Update:

  • Since the pandemic emerged, a total of 255 cases out of 311 confirmed cases have been either released while positive or released after recovery. 
Staff

Cases and testing update:

  • There is an outbreak among SFSO staff members of 109 active cases. A total of 234 staff cases have been identified through testing at sites managed by the Public Health Dept. during the pandemic. 125 of them have recovered and the rest are active.
  • The number of tests administered at these sites ranges from 100 to 200 per week.
  • On March 24 2021, the Public Health Dept. issued a mandatory testing order for the Sheriff’s Office employees. Despite multiple public records requests, no data has been provided on the compliance with the order. Further, on July 26 2021, the CA Dept. of Public Health (CDPH) issued a mandatory testing order for unvaccinated staff only, thereby overriding the county’s order. Information on the implementation and compliance with the order is unknown.

Vaccination update:

  • As of June 3, according to data retrieved via public records request, only 269 or 59% of SFSO sworn custody staff are fully vaccinated. This number does not include civilian custody staff or other SFSO staff members who work at the jails on mandatory overtime or other assignments.

3. Yolo County – Highlights

Yolo County Jail

Data reporting halted as of March 2021.

4. Sacramento County – Highlights

Incarcerated Population

Cases and testing update:

  • As of Jan. 5, the Main Jail reported 27 active cases, while the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center (RCCC) reported none. The facilities have recovered from a massive outbreak that peaked in early-November with 150 active cases.
  • On Dec. 8, the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office (SSO) reported a second COVID-related death. According to the Dept. of Health Services (DHS), the first individual who died was a fully vaccinated 76 year-old male who had multiple underlying health conditions. He was hospitalized on Oct. 25 and died shortly after.
  • 430 new tests were administered to new books and residents between Dec. 29 and Jan. 5 — 12.42% of the total population was tested. Since the population is constantly changing with new bookings, releases and transfers, this percentage may be an overestimate.
  • Between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1, the Juvenile Detention Facility (JDF) identified no positive cases after testing 22 youth or 18.80% of the population. Since the week of Dec. 25, testing has increased by 65.20%. 

Population update:

  • There are 3,461 people in custody at the Main Jain and RCCC — an increase of 73 since Dec. 29.  

Vaccination update:

  • Vaccination data for the incarcerated population is obtained using the public records act since the SSO does not make this information publicly available.  
    • Roughly 27% of those currently incarcerated are fully vaccinated as of Nov. 16, according to the DHS. 
    • As of Nov. 23, 2203 people were either fully vaccinated prior to their incarceration or by medical staff while in custody. But this count includes those who were released or transferred after receiving a dose, i.e. it is not the current number of vaccinated individuals in custody.
    • 87 youth incarcerated at JDF are fully vaccinated as of Nov. 19, according to the DHS.
Staff

Vaccination update:

  • According to data released by the DHS, as of Aug. 25, 434 healthcare/SSO staff are fully vaccinated and 22 are partially vaccinated. The total number of staff in these categories is unavailable and consequently the vaccination rate cannot be determined.
  • While the SSO has not stated how many of their employees are fully vaccinated despite our requests, the DHS has been relatively more transparent. As of Nov. 16, 95% of medical staff and 97% of mental health staff are fully vaccinated.

5. Santa Clara County – Highlights

Incarcerated Population

Cases and testing update:

  • As of Jan. 6, there are 76 active COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County’s Main Jail and Elmwood Correctional Complex.
  • There have been a total of 1116 cases since April 2020, of which 320 were confirmed during booking and 796 were confirmed in custody. The 14-day average for new cases per day is now at 6.57.

Population update:

  •  There are 2416 people in custody. The population has risen by over 300 people since Jan. 2021, after months of declining numbers during the pandemic. After the recent outbreak in Santa Clara, the population has remained in the lower 2400’s. A recent outbreak has caused more fluctuation in the population.

Testing update:

  • 50.506 tests have been completed thus far, of which 1085 came back positive. The 14-day average test positivity rate is now at 4.93%

Vaccination update: 

  • Vaccination data was obtained via public records requests since the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office (SCCSO) does not make detailed data on vaccine uptake available to the public. As of July 12, 2021, 
    • 1620 incarcerated individuals were fully vaccinated either from the community or by Jail Health Services. Of these, 1023 remain in custody and the remaining were released or transferred, meaning 42.5% of the population is currently fully vaccinated. A majority of fully vaccinated individuals received the J&J dose.
    • 96 incarcerated individuals or 2.2% of the population is partially vaccinated, with the majority receiving Moderna.
Staff

Cases and testing update:

  • There are currently 122 active cases among staff in the SCCSO. Out of 102,227 tests that have been completed so far, 480 cases were identified. 
  • On Nov. 12 2021, the health officer for Santa Clara County issued a mandatory testing order for all workers and staff who enter the jail’s premises including Public Defenders, Probation Dept. staff, Sheriff’s Office employees, medical workers, etc. 
    • As of June 3, 2021, 100% of SCCSO jail staff have complied with the order.
    • As of July 11, 86.57% of Jail Health Services’ staff of 268 have complied. Medical staff undergo testing daily, and in the latest testing block, 36 were out of compliance.

Vaccination update:

  • As of Dec. 9, roughly 91% of the entire SCCSO and 93% of SCCSO’s custody division is fully vaccinated. This is one of the highest vaccination rates for staff across all the counties being tracked. 
  • As of July 15, 2021, 346 of 403 CHS staff or 86% are fully vaccinated. The remaining 14% are either unvaccinated or declined to disclose their status.

Sources:
View and download raw data here: www.covidincustody.org/data -> View and download data.
Read reports on data, policies and protocols: www.covidincustody.org/reporting -> County Jails -> “County Name”
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.
http://www.bscc.ca.gov/covid-19-data-dashboard-landing-page/

By Aparna Komarla, Anumita Alur, Victoria Yeo, Anna Zheng, Alexander Ramirez

Contact: Aparna Komarla (apkomarla@ucdavis.edu)

Share:

About The Author

Aparna Komarla leads the Covid In-Custody project, which partners with the Davis Vanguard to bring reporting on the pandemic's impact on county jails and CDCR to the public eye. See www.covidincustody.org for more information.

Related posts

3 thoughts on “Sheriff’s Offices in Alameda, Santa Clara and San Francisco Report Massive COVID-19 Outbreaks”

  1. Keith Olsen

    Ha, remember the video of the convicts passing around and sipping on the same cup of water where they were trying to catch COVID?  Get of of jail free card…

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for