Two additional Riverside County deputies test positive for COVID-19

Two additional Riverside County Sheriff's deputies have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to three, Sheriff Chad Bianco announced in a video statement over the weekend.

"I have spoken to all of them and they are in good spirits while recovering," Bianco said.

Additional deputies are currently under self-quarantine as they await coronavirus test results, the sheriff added.

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Bianco also said that the department was notified that an inmate has tested positive for COVID-19. 

"The inmate became symptomatic several days ago," Bianco said. "He was immediately isolated and is being treated by medical staff."

The inmate had very limited contact with other inmates, Bianco stated, but following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those contacts have also been isolated.

"None of them are symptomatic at this time," said Bianco.

The sheriff said they have implemented a strategic plan to stop the spread of the virus, which includes enhancing cleaning efforts at all Riverside County jails.

The department is also working closely with health officials to monitor both employees and the inmate population for COVID-19.

"Unlike some jurisdictions, I have no intention of preemptively releasing inmates out of fear something may or may not happen," the sheriff said. "I feel very strongly that the inmates we have remaining in custody pose a much greater risk to public safety than the risk this virus poses to them while they are in custody."

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