LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — More coronavirus cases continue to be reported among jail inmates and employees across Los Angeles County.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Wednesday that 862 Sheriff’s Department officials have tested positive since the pandemic began, and 726 are currently under quarantine.
According to Villanueva, coronavirus cases in this population appear stable, but added that more than 3,200 people in county jails have tested positive and the figure is “climbing steadily.”
The sheriff said the state prison system is not accepting prisoners who are already convicted, so L.A. County jails are taking in inmates into their facilities.
“Also, our mental health institutions … Patton for example, Metropolitan State Hospital, all those (institutions) that take our inmates who are deemed unfit to stand trial or incompetent to stand trial, those ones need to be transferred also out of our system, but no one’s taking them, so we’re starting to accumulate inmates who shouldn’t be in our custody,” he said.
As for the Los Angeles Police Department, of the 546 employees who have tested positive for coronavirus since the pandemic began, 72 are at home recovering or self-isolating due to exposure, and 498 have returned to work.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 671 newly confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 61 new deaths Wednesday, bringing countywide totals to 249,859 cases and 6,090 deaths.
(An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the number of COVID-positive inmates.)
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)