As extensive testing for the novel coronavirus gets underway in the vast Los Angeles County jail system, high infection rates are emerging, with nearly 60% of one group of inmates testing positive.
Among 600 inmates at North County Correctional Facility in Castaic who were without symptoms and living in the general population, 40% tested positive, indicating that herd immunity “is starting to take effect,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a news briefing Wednesday.
At Men’s Central Jail, nearly 60% in a dorm of 67 asymptomatic inmates tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Inspector General Max Huntsman, an independent watchdog for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
But Villanueva said the number of inmates with symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has gone down, putting the jails “in a better place than we were were a week ago, when we were in the opposite direction.”
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