SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office announced it had its first positive COVID-19 case inside of its downtown Main Jail.
“On that date that she was set to be released, that test came back positive,” said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sgt. Tess Deterding. “That inmate was not exposed to any other inmates that are currently in our custody.”
The former inmate, although reportedly asymptomatic at the time, was tested when she was readmitted to the jail last week.
She was released Wednesday.
Then Thursday, word about the positive test started to spread during a federal court case.
“So I was arguing that she could be exposed to the virus and then we got a positive case last night,” explained defense attorney Shari Rusk.
Rusk represents a different female inmate who suffers from immune issues and has been at the Sacramento County Main Jail on a federal probation violation.
In a video chat hearing Thursday morning, Rusk was set to ask for her client to be released when she said the judge essentially did it for her, citing health risks.
“After argument was heard, the court did agree to release,” Rusk told FOX40.
Now a free woman, FOX40 spoke to Rusk’s client over the phone. She asked not to be named.
She said she knows the inmate who tested positive, saying she came across her in the jail months ago.
“Yeah, I know exactly who she is,” the woman said. “I know her name. She was in the same pod as me two months ago (inaudible) back in April.”
Rusk’s client did not come in contact with the woman after she was readmitted.
She said conditions in the jail are not ideal, recalling some staff members inside the jail not wearing masks or gloves.
“It’s really bad in there,” Rusk’s client said. “The only thing they are doing is bleach, like they’re bleaching, but they’re not doing it every day.”
The sheriff’s office maintains all safety measures are being met and proper isolation procedures have been passed along to the woman who tested positive now that she has been released.
Sheriff’s office officials said they also believe proactive health measures by Sheriff Scott Jones are why that positive COVID-19 case was detected and why the virus has not been widespread in the county jail system so far.
“It was very important for him to put those measures in place that caught, literally, exactly this scenario here,” Sgt. Deterding said.