SAN JOSE (CBS / AP) — The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday it is looking into photos posted on Facebook that show at least three of its correctional deputies at an indoor party last weekend with little to no mask wearing or social distancing and where partygoers shared a beer bong.
The photos surfaced as the county is seeing a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections in the general population and also among sheriff’s office staff and jail inmates.READ MORE: 40-Year-Old Man Fatally Stabbed In San Francisco Mission District Bar
The Mercury News reported Thursday that more than 30 photographs and videos were posted from the Dec. 6 party on a jail deputy’s profile that was registered under an alias. Dec. 6 was the same day that Santa Clara County went into a lockdown, which prohibited people from gathering with others outside of their own household.
The photos suggest that well over three households — the pre-lockdown gathering limit — were at the party.
The sheriff’s office said it was not aware of the party and would review the event.
“As a law enforcement agency, we expect our staff to hold themselves and each other to a higher standard and take the recommendations and guidelines set forth by public health officials seriously,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.READ MORE: SF DA Boudin Announces Program For Helping Staffers Learn New Languages
“The behavior depicted in the Facebook post in question are not representative of these expectations or the agency as a whole. If in fact they are sheriff’s deputies, they are expected to adhere to public health guidance as well as conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, whether on or off-duty. The matter is being looked into.”
The Mercury News quoted multiple sources who confirmed that several attendees were jail deputies or supervisors.
Correctional deputies account for close to two-thirds of the 117 recorded COVID-19 cases since March involving sheriff’s office staff, as reported on its public online dashboard. As of Wednesday, 19 correctional deputies were listed with active infections, alongside 11 patrol deputies and five civilian employees.
Santa Clara County is averaging over 1,000 new cases a day, Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the county’s COVID-19 testing officer, said Wednesday.
“We’re seeing more cases now every day than we’ve seen at any point in this pandemic in Santa Clara County,” he said. “We’re not anywhere out of the woods yet, with people dying, with the numbers of cases. Our hospitals are filling up.”MORE NEWS: Oakland Police Make 2 Arrests, Seize Vehicles, Firearms In Connection With Weekend Sideshows
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