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Nearly all Santa Barbara County Jail inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered

Nearly all Santa Barbara County Jail inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered

From the What you need to know for Wednesday, September 23 series
  • Updated

All but one Santa Barbara County Jail inmate who tested positive for COVID-19 during a recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, according to a sheriff's spokeswoman. 

The inmates were tested between Aug. 24 and Sept. 7, with the majority of them asymptomatic, according to spokesman Raquel Zick. 

During that period, sheriff's officials offered to test all of the inmates housed in the jail, completing more than 500 tests. 

The remaining inmate infected with coronavirus is medically isolated in a negative-pressure cell and is being monitored regularly, according to Zick. 

A total of 84 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus, including 77 who contracted the disease inside the jail and seven who were confirmed positive for the virus upon intake. 

Sheriff Bill Brown thanked WellPath health-care workers, who are contracted to provide medical care to inmates, custody staff and the County Public Health Department for controlling the outbreak. 

"Their remarkable collective efforts resulted in the rapid containment of the virus," Brown said. "We continue to take every reasonable precaution possible to maintain the safety of those who are in our custody and care, as well as our employees and contract staff." 

Coronavirus Series: Local impact and reaction to COVID-19 on the Central Coast

We are working hard to get answers about the impact and reaction to the coronavirus in Santa Barbara County, this is a collection of those stories. Do you have a question about coronavirus in Santa Barbara County? Post them to our Facebook page, or email  You can support the work of local journalists working hard in your hometown by signing up for a News+ Membership online

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  • Updated

Although the percentage of positive test results — the other metric being monitored by the state — has dropped into the orange, or “moderate,” tier, the new case rate still exceeds the threshold set by the state for moving the county into the red, according to a report delivered Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors.

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