Sonoma County Well being Officer Points Well being Order Requiring Exams For Inmates | Press releases | Workplace of the District Workplace
Santa Rosa, California – September 7, 2021 – Dr. Sonoma County’s health officer Sundari Mase today issued a health order requiring prison inmates to be tested for COVID-19 upon entry. The measure is intended to curb the spread of the virus and prevent outbreaks in the district’s prisons.
The inmate test ordinance, which goes into effect October 1, requires all inmates in Sonoma County detention centers, including the Youth Department, to take a COVID-19 test, regardless of the person’s vaccination status, upon entering the facility. If an inmate tests positive, the inmate must be isolated according to the detention center’s isolation protocol.
There have been cases in Sonoma County from detention centers associated with both correctional staff and inmates. The virus is brought into the facility by both prison staff and inmates, where it can be spread to both staff and inmates.
“Because of their close proximity, prisons are particularly high-risk meeting places. Inmates are exposed to a wide variety of staff and volunteers in the prison and may have to move between different residential modules, increasing the possibility of COVID-19 transmission, “said Dr. Mase. “Even with full vaccination, the prison population is at significant risk of developing serious illness, as they may have certain health conditions that make them vulnerable to the severe consequences of COVID-19. Therefore, this examination order applies to all inmates, regardless of their vaccination status. ”
The health ordinance was passed in partnership with Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick.
“We know that COVID can spread rapidly in community housing facilities, including prisons,” said Sheriff Essick. “Detention personnel have voluntarily performed COVID tests on inmates when they arrive at our prison. This health order is an effective tool to ensure that all inmates are tested. ”
Read the full health regulation on SoCoEmergency.org.
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