San Diego Sheriff’s Department says inmates entering county jails will be screened for coronavirus

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – As more cases of the coronavirus are reported worldwide and around the nation, the effect of the outbreak is touching almost all aspects of society, including local law enforcement.

KUSI’s Sasha Foo spoke with San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore about what steps San Diego law enforcement is taking to ensure the virus isn’t spreading within county jails.

So far, there are no reported cases of the virus in San Diego County.

The first U.S. death from coronavirus was reported Saturday in the Pacific Northwest. Public health officials said the victim was a man in his 50s and a resident of King County, Washington, who had underlying health issues. As of Thursday, a total of 12 people have died in the United States from the illness, including a person near Sacramento, the first U.S. death outside Washington.

“The appearance of this novel coronavirus in our community is very likely and regional efforts to prepare and respond are on the rise,” according to a San Diego County statement.

In a report from San Diego County health officials updated Friday, a total of 390 people were being monitored for the disease, but 305 of them have completed their monitoring. The remaining 85 are monitoring their health under the supervision of public health officials, Wooten said. She said remote monitoring is being done on several San Diego residents who are on the Grand Princess cruise ship, which was carrying the first person to die of the illness in California and is now being held offshore while passengers and crew are tested.

The county previously had two confirmed cases involving people who were under federal quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar following repatriation flights that arrived from Wuhan, China, on Feb. 5 and Feb. 7. Both of those patients have since been treated and released.

Test results in San Diego County are still pending for five people, including some detainees of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Thirteen patients tested negative in the county, according to the report, for a total of 18 people tested.

The county Board of Supervisors last week unanimously reaffirmed and extended a local health emergency declaration in response to concerns about the outbreak. But county officials stressed that the risk of contracting the virus locally remains low.

On Thursday morning, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, introduced Assembly Bill 3123, which would protect workers from retaliation if they take leave during public health emergencies.

President Donald Trump gave a televised update on the outbreak Saturday, when he announced new travel restrictions involving Iran and warnings about travel to parts of Italy and South Korea, where high virus activity has been reported.

More than 95,000 cases of the illness and 3,250 deaths have been reported, with the vast majority of those in China.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Local San Diego News