Health officials investigating COVID-19 outbreak at correctional facilities

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento County health officials are investigating a COVID-19 outbreak at two correctional facilities. 

There are roughly 70 positive cases combined at the Sacramento County Main Jail and the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center. 

Officials said they are trying to figure out the source of the outbreak, but a woman whose husband is at the RCCR told FOX40 guidelines should have been followed to prevent such incidents. 

“My husband called the other day and said that he was now on quarantine again,” said Alexis Palma. 

Palma’s husband has so far tested negative. 

“The way it’s coming into the jail would appear to be either people visiting or staff contact, volunteers, and not the inmates themselves because they have been quarantined for over a month,” Palma said. 

She told FOX40 she is concerned about jail staff not following safety guidelines to prevent incidents like these. 

“Pulling them from their jobs and moving them without testing anyone. Seeing if you are vaccinated, you can be in this pod, and if you are not, you can go over here,” Palma said. 

Health officials said the positive cases at the two facilities are amongst unvaccinated people and that vaccination is available, as well as education about vaccine benefits. 

“We are working closely with Correctional Health staff to conduct contact tracing and mitigate the spread. Quarantine protocols are in place and extensive testing is being done,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office called the incident a small spike. Only around 2% of the total jail population is affected. According to the sheriff’s office, there is no way to keep COVID out completely. 

And while those inside the jail are required to wear a mask, the department said they can’t force inmates to wear a face covering. 

Palma hopes the protocols put in place are being enforced. 

“My hope is for better practices and more awareness on this risk and how they move about amongst themselves, staff and the way the inmates are treated properly,” Palma said. 

Contact tracing is underway, as is large-scale testing. 

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