Ten Santa Barbara County Jail inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak that began in the facility last month, according to a spokeswoman on Thursday.

The inmates were identified after the Sheriff's Office's last outbreak update on Tuesday, according to spokeswoman Raquel Zick. 

The outbreak, which was first detected inside a male dormitory unit on Dec. 8, has 68 active infections.

A total of 218 inmates have been infected in the outbreak; of those, 146 inmates have recovered, four were released and one inmate was admitted to an area hospital for advanced care, according to Zick. 

Most infected inmates, 178, have experienced no symptoms and one inmate declined to provide that information, Zick added. 

All inmates who test positive are continuously monitored by custody staff and Wellpath medical contractors. Those who do test positive are moved into negative pressure cells. 

Inmates who are exposed to the coronavirus but have not tested positive are separated from other inmates, and those with underlying health conditions are transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment, according to Zick. 

A team of Department of Public Health personnel requested by county officials is currently assisting Sheriff's Office and Public Health staff with testing, and will be at the jail for the duration of the outbreak. 

Jail staff have administered more than 630 inmate vaccinations, including 148 who received cash for shots deposited into their commissary accounts, according to Zick. 

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