SAN LUIS OBISPO — A San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office employee who works inside the Jail is recovering at home after testing positive for COVID-19.

The employee had returned to work on July 6 after being on vacation. The employee developed symptoms while on shift and was immediately sent home. SLO County Public Health is involved and has initiated a contact investigation.

The source of infection appears to be from community spread and does not appear to have originated from inside the Jail.

All staff who have been in contact with the employee have been notified. Affected areas of the Jail have been placed on quarantine.


“Incarcerated populations are very high risk for contracting COVID-19 because of the close living quarters,” said Dr. Christy Mulkerin, the Sheriff’s Office Chief Medical Officer. “That’s why the Sheriff’s Office has been proactive in practicing infection control measures since March to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in the jail.”

This includes daily screening for staff at the beginning of their shift, use of masks and gloves with any inmate interaction, increased facility-wide cleanings multiple times per day, quarantine of all arrestees for 14 days, routine COVID-19 testing for all inmates and staff, and limitation of in-person visitation.

To date, no inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, and this is the first staff member affected.