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Second Inmate At SF Jail Tests Positive For COVID-19, Showed No Symptoms

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - The San Francisco Sheriff's Office on Sunday reported its second case of an inmate testing positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Just like the first case, which was reported Thursday, the second inmate who tested positive did not show any COVID-19 symptoms and had been kept isolated from the general population since being booked just one day prior.

The sheriff's office first began testing all new inmates for COVID-19 over a week ago, on top of routine infectious diseases screenings and medical interviews already performed on new inmates prior to booking.

"This enables Jail Health Services to identify asymptomatic people who are carrying the virus and keep them isolated from the general population until they test negative or are released from jail," Sheriff Paul Miyamotto said in a statement Sunday.

"COVID-19 testing protects the people in our custody, our staff and the community," he said. "Many of the people who are tested and released before their quarantine period has expired. They now know they are COVID positive and can take the necessary precautions to self-isolate, stay healthy and protect against spreading the virus."

Following last month's shelter-in-place order, the sheriff's office first began isolating new inmates from the general jail population.

Additionally, to further protect inmates from COVID-19, the sheriff's office has helped release 26 inmates who had less than 60 days left to serve; suspended all jail visits; increased cleaning and sanitation; and moved inmates 60 years or older to single cells in designated areas.

Last month, sheriff's officials reported five staff members who tested positive for COVID-19.

With the city's jail population currently reported to be at a historic low due to the stay-at-home order, on Sunday sheriff's officials reported 725 people in the city's jails, which is a 36 percent drop from the average daily jail count back in January of this year.

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