25 L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. employees, 12 county fire personnel, 4 inmates test positive for COVID-19

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Twenty-five employees of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, four inmates in the jail system it administers and 12 L.A. County Fire Department personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Wednesday, as the departments announced they would begin releasing daily statistics on the novel coronavirus.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies salute healthcare workers at the Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster on March 30, 2020. (LASD)
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies salute healthcare workers at the Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster on March 30, 2020. (LASD)

Another 405 sheriff’s personnel were under quarantine due to contact with possibly infected people, while 150 had been been cleared to return to work, according to data released by the department.

Official said 372 inmates were under quarantine, while 14 were in “isolation,” meaning that they displayed body temperatures of 100.4 degrees or higher and symptoms of upper respiratory infection, pending test results.

One of the four inmates who tested positive has been designated “fully recovered” as of Wednesday after being free of symptoms for 72 hours, officials said. Another 79 inmates have been tested and received negative results.

Sheriff’s officials said the data on COVID-19 within the department and jail system would be updated daily at 9 a.m.

“I want to show the public how, in the face of COVID-19, we are managing one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the world, one of the largest jail systems, and a large population across nearly 4,100 square miles,” county Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a written statement.

“We have taken great measures to reduce exposure by decompressing our jail system, practicing safe measures on the street, and allowing select employees to work from home.  I want you, the public, to be informed about the facts, know where we stand as a department, and see our progress.”

The Los Angeles County Fire Department reported Tuesday that 12 personnel has tested positive for COVID-19. Thirty-two personnel had been tested for the virus in all.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department continues on a daily basis to monitor our most important commodity, our employees,” according to a statement issued by the agency.

“We have put into place a number of processes and stood up systems to help assess, monitor, test and treat our first responders that have been exposed and tested positive for COVID-19, so that they can recover and return to work,” Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.

The L.A. County Fire Department also promised daily updates on the virus within its ranks, to be available online and via an emailed alert.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles city officials announced Tuesday that 47 Los Angeles Police Department employees and 15 members of the Los Angeles Fire Department had tested positive for novel coronavirus.

“One LAPD employee has recovered and returned to full duty, two individuals are hospitalized, and all other individuals are self-isolating at home and recovering,” city officials said in a written statement.

“Two LAFD employees have recovered and returned to duty, with one member who is currently hospitalized and being treated. The remaining twelve employees are recovering at home.”

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