LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed Monday that four of his department’s employees have tested positive for coronavirus, while one inmate has also been diagnosed.
Of the employees who tested positive, one was assigned to the court services division, one was an east patrol deputy and two were assigned to the custody division, Villanueva said.
Villanueva and county health officials both confirmed that an inmate has tested positive, the first confirmed case of coronavirus among the jail’s inmate population.
Details were not released about the inmate. Assistant Sheriff Bruce Chase said the inmate is “stable” and hasn’t required any advance life-saving care. Chase said 191 inmates are currently in temporary quarantine and awaiting test results.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the inmate who tested positive was at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility but has since been moved to the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
Villanueva said his office has set up a system for county employees to be tested for the illness. He said health officials will come to an employee’s home location to test them if they volunteer for the testing program.
Villanueva said the jail system has been able to accelerate early releases and decrease jail populations by 16%, which was intended to make space for convicted violent criminals and create social distancing among the inmate population.
The sheriff said he’s seen jail bookings reduced since the start of the pandemic.
In regard to the Safer at Home and social distancing orders that are in place across the county, Villanueva said his department has not issued any citations to violators. But he said if people are found in violation of the orders, deputies can write a report and a decision can be made later about whether to pursue any type of legal action.