1st Riverside County inmate tests positive for COVID-19 as number of deputies diagnosed jumps to 3

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The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday reported the first case of COVID-19 involving an inmate, as well as two additional deputies who tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total within the agency to three.

The deputies and anyone who had contact with them have quarantined themselves, Sheriff Chad Bianco said.

The inmate showed symptoms several days ago and had “very limited contact” with other inmates, Bianco said. That individual is now receiving treatment.

The Sheriff’s Department did not plan to identify any of those diagnosed, Bianco said.

According to the sheriff, his agency has been working with officials to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the county since a plane with about 200 Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China arrived at the March Air Reserve Base on Jan. 29.

Bianco said the Sheriff’s Department has ramped up cleaning of its facilities and has a plan in place to stop further infections, adding that personnel have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment.

As of Saturday afternoon, county health officials have confirmed 195 cases and eight deaths in the outbreak.

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