Amid health concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has stopped accepting federal detainees at its jail and implemented changes to limit the number of people entering its facilities.
In a news release issued Tuesday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office asked the public to refrain from visiting the office and, instead, turn to online services and telephone calls for assistance.
In addition, inmate visitations at the jail will take place via video calls until further notice.
“As a precautionary measure, we temporarily have suspended (in-person visitations) for the safety of our staff, the community and everybody involved,” Sheriff’s Capt. Ruben Fuentes told the NI.
As of Wednesday morning, Fuentes said, the county jail was housing about 72 inmates, and in an effort to keep the numbers low, had begun denying any prisoner holds for federal agencies.
Fuentes added that personnel will also keep an eye out for any current inmates and new offenders who show signs or symptoms of a flu, and take additional safety steps if needed.
“At this point, we have been fortunate enough that we have not had any cases with our inmates showing signs that would cause us to take extra precautionary measures,” he said.
The Sheriff’s Office's website is santacruzsheriff.org and its phone number is (520) 761-7869.