The 40-year-old man was arrested by Santa Maria Police Department officers and ordered to the Main Prison on April 1 on suspicion of theft, stalking and being under the influence of drugs, said sheriff’s spokesman Raquel Zick.
The detainee, whose name was withheld for reasons of medical safety and privacy, did not have an underlying health problem, Zick said.
As part of the prison’s COVID-19 response plan, all newly detained detainees are held for 14 days or more in a reception residential area separate from the general prison population.
After completing their stay in the reception area, they were examined by medical staff from Wellpath, a medical provider who was contracted by the prison, before being rehabilitated in another area of the facility.
During examinations such as April 14, inmates were found to have a fever and were transferred to a negative pressure room in a special residential area, placed under quarantine and immediately tested, Zick said.
The Sheriff’s Office received positive test results on Thursday night and conducted a contact tracking investigation to determine whether anyone was exposed to prisoners when he was contagious.
The results of the investigation are forwarded to the District Public Health Department for evaluation and follow-up.