Part of Fresno County jail under quarantine after 13 inmates test positive for COVID-19

A potential coronavirus outbreak has forced a quarantine at the north jail at the Fresno County jail complex.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A potential coronavirus outbreak has forced a quarantine at the north jail at the Fresno County jail complex.

Every inmate from the north jail got called back from court Friday morning, and deputies said the entire north jail was put on quarantine after they learned of positive coronavirus cases.

"We are working with contact tracing to see if we can determine where this all began," said Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

Botti said 25 inmates were tested for the virus before being transferred to the Wasco state facility earlier this month. He said their tests returned negative, and they were transferred a week later.

But upon arriving at the facility, separate tests conducted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation found 13 of the 25 inmates were positive for the virus.

"We had inmates on 2,3,4 and 5 - all those floors between these 25 inmates... now we have to obviously expand the quarantine and do a little bit more backtracking work."

Botti said inmates have not yet been tested as a result of the new spike.

Those in the north jail are being monitored for symptoms, nine of who are currently experiencing a fever.

"We tend to monitor everyone and based on how their symptoms go, how they are feeling, we will know if we need to initiate tests on them. since we are in such the early stages right now we want to see where it goes. but there is a big chance that we could administer 1200 tests," he said.

Botti said the sheriff's office will wait on direction from county public health.

This is the second group of 25 to be transferred to Wasco since the beginning of the pandemic. Botti said the first transfer in June was successful.

According to the sheriff's office, prior to this outbreak, since March, there have been six positive tests among inmates, one of which was contracted inside the jail.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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