Officials have either released or transferred all inmates in the Long Beach Jail to Los Angeles County Jail after three jail staff members tested positive for COVID-19, they announced Thursday.
The staff members, whose shifts overlapped, were last at work Nov. 30, a city spokesperson said. On Friday, officials reported an additional jail employee tested positive for COVID-19, making a total of four in the outbreak.
“As a precautionary measure, jail inmates were either cited out or transferred to LA County Jail to reduce exposure, to allow for cleaning, and to help alleviate pressure on the reduced jail staffing due to staff members being on quarantine,” police spokeswoman Arantxa Chavarria said.
None of the approximately 20 inmates have tested positive so far. The health department is working with the police department to figure out if any inmates may have been exposed and are testing the jail staff. City officials could not give any details about the details of the staffers’ jobs because the relatively small outbreak would break confidentiality rules.
The department was unable to say how many inmates were released and how many were transferred.
This is the first outbreak at the Long Beach Jail and follows the huge spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations throughout the county and state. The police department has also been dealing with outbreaks of more than a dozen cases in employees outside of the jail since the beginning of November.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add that another staff member tested positive on Friday.