DUBLIN (CBS SF) — Eight more people at Santa Rita Jail have tested positive for coronavirus, raising the number to 11 total cases at the jail, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday. Three inmates were confirmed to be infected on Tuesday.

There was no further information about the eight inmates confirmed positive on Wednesday. 26 “red” or very ill patients patients who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are currently housed in the jail’s OPHU unit, officials said.

When sheriff’s officials reported the first positive test of an inmate on Saturday, they said they were conducting an investigation to identify staff and inmates who may have come in contact with that inmate, and impacted pods were quarantined and professionally cleaned and sanitized.

There are currently 1,983 inmates at Santa Rita, down from 2,597 on March 1, according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Office online data.

Alameda County Assistant Sheriff Thomas Madigan said Tuesday that hundreds of low-level offenders have been released from the jail to reduce overcrowding that could lead to COVID-19 transmissions and he thinks another 100 low-level offenders will be released soon to conform with an emergency rule issued by the California Judicial Council on Monday reducing bail to $0 in misdemeanor and low-level felony cases.

Sheriff Ahern sent a letter to all local police departments in the county requesting that they cite and release any arrestee who does not compromise public safety to minimize the potential COVID-19 exposure to the Santa Rita jail population, the sheriff’s office said.

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