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18 inmates at O.C. jails test positive for COVID-19, after testing is expanded to asymptomatic people in quarantine

Eighteen incarcerated individuals at Orange County jails tested positive for COVID-19, after testing was extended to inmates in medical quarantine who were not showing symptoms, officials said Friday. The first 22 asymptomatic inmates in quarantine were tested Thursday as they were scheduled to be reintegrated back into the jail’s general housing, according to the Orange […]

Eighteen incarcerated individuals at Orange County jails tested positive for COVID-19, after testing was extended to inmates in medical quarantine who were not showing symptoms, officials said Friday.

The first 22 asymptomatic inmates in quarantine were tested Thursday as they were scheduled to be reintegrated back into the jail’s general housing, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the O.C. Health Care Agency. Of the 22, 18 tested positive for the virus.

The 18 individuals will be medically isolated and monitored for symptoms, officials said.

Information on whether all those who tested positive were all the same facility was not available.

So far, a total of 147 incarcerated individuals in O.C. jails have been tested for COVID-19 — including those conducted before the expanded testing — and a total of 82 are reportedly positive for the virus.

Because visitations have been temporarily suspended amid the pandemic, inmates have been granted two free five-minute phone calls per week, as well ass access to free stationary and stamps and to electronic religious services “if available.”

The expanded testing is a joint effort between O.C. jails, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the O.C. Health Care Agency Correctional Health Services.

Throughout the county, 1,969 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with 38 deaths as of Saturday.