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Latest COVID-19 outbreak at South Coast jail continues to grow, with 50 more inmates testing positive

Another 50 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Main Santa Barbara County jail, with 169 now infected since the December 9 outbreak.

169 Santa Barbara County Jail inmates test positive since December 9.

COVID-19 is continuing to have a big impact on some jails on the Central and South Coasts. A recent outbreak of the virus at the main Santa Barbara County jail has grown by 50 inmates.

A total of 169 inmates have tested positive since the outbreak was discovered December 9. None of the inmates have needed hospitalization. Close to 140 of them were asymptomatic.

Jail officials say they’ve been testing and isolating new inmates in an effort to prevent new outbreaks. Inmates are also being offered vaccinations, with extra food from the commissary being offered as an incentive.

Meanwhile, Ventura County Jail officials say because of the COVID-19 surge, they’ve extended a suspension of most inmate visitation at the county’s main, and Todd Road jail facilities through January 11. Professional visits like those by attorneys will still be allowed.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.