Santa Barbara County deputies and inmate’s false positive coronavirus tests

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has determined that three inmates and 20 deputies who previously tested positive for the coronavirus, did not have the virus.

As part of widespread testing of inmates and deputies during the past two weeks, the county had Quest Diagnostics process the initial samples for 20 deputies and three inmates. After every test came back positive, and none of the subjects had symptoms, the deputies and inmates were retested. None had the virus.

“This apparent lab error changes the ongoing totals that were previously reported, bringing the total number of COVID-19 positive inmates that have been house at the Main Jail to nine,” according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Of the nine inmates who tested positive for the virus, six were infected before admission into the jail, and three contracted the coronavirus at the jail.