Last week an inmate being booked into the Tehama County Jail tested positive for COVID-19, the first recorded case at the jail since testing started. This announcement comes as cases of infection from the virus continue to climb in the community. Val Lucero, Tehama County Health Service executive director reported to the Tehama County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday the county’s case numbers are moving closer to the state’s watchlist criteria.

As of July 28, there were 214 confirmed positive cases in Tehama County, of which 47 are in active isolation, two hospitalized, 5,615 negative tests and 11 unknown. Lucero said the unknowns result from the difficulty of finding all persons who came into contact with positive test cases.

“We have 11 persons who came into contact with COVID-19 positive patients that we are still trying to located,” she explained.

The county stands at 7.6 percent positive cases per 100,000 residents – the state’s threshold is 8 percent. 

The inmate who tested positive, who the sheriff’s office said is in his 20s, was being booked into the jail by an allied agency and during the COVID-19 pre-incarceration screening process, risk factors were identified requiring the man be taken to St. Elizabeth Community Hospital for testing.

Upon his return to the jail, the inmate was required to wear a face mask and was housed in a designated quarantine area of the jail, reported the sheriff’s office.

On July 21 the sheriff’s office was notified by the hospital the inmate’s COVID-19 test came back positive. This was followed up by the sheriff’s office immediately notifying Tehama County Public Health Agency of the test results.

Public Health, as has been done with all positive cases in the county, initiated contact tracing of the inmate movements and housed him out of the jail on an order of isolation.

Additional testing was offered to inmates at the jail, even though the positive case inmate was isolated and in a quarantine housing unit. 

COVID-19 free testing is still available to the public at the Red Bluff Community Center, 1500 S. Jackson St., by registering online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting to make an appointment for testing. There are no copays or costs to individuals being tested. 

For more information concerning the infected inmate or other COVID-19 questions contact the Tehama County Public Health Agency at 527-8177. Information is also available by calling 211 and visiting the following websites: www.cdc.gov; www.cdph.gov/covid19; and www.tehamacohealthservices.net

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