MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — An inmate at the Martinez Detention Facility has tested positive for the coronavirus during a proactive, asymptomatic testing of the jail population, according to health authorities.

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) said the unidentified inmate was booked into the facility on Tuesday and was placed in isolation after having tested positive. County health workers are conducting a contact tracing investigation to find close contacts of the inmate in order to place them under quarantine and be tested.

In March, CCHS began testing people with COVID-19 symptoms as they were booked into the jail, with inmates who tested positive being put into clinical isolation. All other inmates booked into the facility are placed in a 14-day quarantine and screened for symptoms twice daily, CCHS said.


The tests were expanded recently to include proactive testing of inmates without symptoms. To date, 53 tests have been performed in the jail, CCHS said.

The inmate who tested positive is being cared for by CCHS doctors and nurses with proper protective gear while in isolation and there was minimal risk of infecting others in the jail, according to CCHS.

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The California Judicial Council has authorized zero bail jail releases for misdemeanor and non-violent offenders in order to lessen the risk of coronavirus outbreaks among jail populations.

Bay Area district attorneys have said they think law enforcement officials can still keep the community safe despite recent zero bail orders that have resulted in a number of suspects being released immediately after being arrested.

There have been a total of 969 coronavirus cases in Contra Costa County as of Tuesday morning. 29 people have died from the virus in the county, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard.