SF Sheriff Says Three More Staff Test Positive for COVID-19

Office of the Sheriff, City and County of San Francisco


March 27, 2020 correction: The San Francisco Sheriff's Office reported on March 25, 2020 that there were four more employees, in addition to one Deputy Sheriff on March 22, who tested positive for coronavirus. The March 25 report included a Deputy Sheriff assigned to County Jail #4 as testing positive for coronavirus. The deputy has subsequently received a correction from the lab that they had given the deputy a false positive. The lab confirmed that the Deputy Sheriff tested negative. The Sheriff's Office has verified these results with the lab. We've updated this press release on March 27, 2020 to reflect this new information.

For Immediate Release
Friday, March 27, 2020
Contact: Nancy Crowley (415) 554-4469 or (415) 238-5488

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office received confirmation that three more staff tested positive for COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. Employees include:

  • Deputy Sheriff assigned to a Department of Public Health clinic 
  • Cadet assigned to City Hall Patrol Unit
  • Senior Deputy Sheriff assigned to City Hall Patrol Unit 

On March 25, 2020, the Sheriff's Office also reported that a Deputy Sheriff assigned to County Jail #4 had tested positive for COVID-19. The deputy subsequently received a correction from the lab indicating they had given the deputy a false positive. The SFSO Deputy Sheriff has tested negative for COVID-19. The Sheriff's Office verified these results with the lab. 

The three positive cases are in addition to the first case where a Deputy Sheriff tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

“Our Sheriff’s employees are first responders who continue to risk their own health and safety to reduce COVID-19 exposure to the public and the people in our care,” said Sheriff Paul Miyamoto. “Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of our staff and everyone affected by COVID-19. Unfortunately, as the number of Bay Area COVID-19 cases increases, we can expect to see more first responders test positive.”

The Sheriff’s Office is operating under a COVID-19 response and action plan and will continue to carry out emergency actions and additional precautions. 

When a Sheriff’s Office employee tests positive, the department takes the following steps to reduce exposure to staff, people in our custody and the community:

  • Creating a comprehensive timeline retracing the affected employees’ assignments and movements prior to testing positive
  • Identifying all staff who had direct and indirect contact with affected employees
  • Sharing timeline(s) with the medical director of the city clinic who is assigned to COVID-19 contact investigations
  • Following up with staff at facilities where affected employees were working
  • Processing worker’s compensation for affected staff

When a positive case is identified in a jail facility, the department takes additional steps including:

  • Identifying incarcerated people who had direct and indirect contact with affected employees
  • Sharing information and consulting with Jail Health Services, a section of the Department of Public Health, to identify next steps regarding minimizing coronavirus risk in the impacted jail
  • Waiving court appearances for incarcerated people who had contact with the affected employees
  • Suspending implementation of federal injunction orders

The Sheriff’s Office continues to work with the Superior Court to identify people who may be eligible for early release to reduce the county jail population and minimize incarcerated persons’ and staff exposure to the coronavirus.  

“Our jail count dipped to an historic low on March 21 and has remained below 1,000 people in our custody,” said Sheriff Miyamoto. “With one of the nation’s lowest incarceration rates, we are implementing social distancing protocols across three jails and our intake and release center to minimize exposure.” 

On Friday, March 20, 2020, the Sheriff’s Office released 26 sentenced persons from San Francisco county jail who have less than 60 days left to serve by order of the Superior Court. Sheriff’s staff placed approximately 13 people in supportive housing and behavioral health programs. The remaining releases identified existing housing where they could shelter after leaving the jail.

Our priority is to ensure that the people who are released and do not have coronavirus remain healthy while sheltering in the broader community,” said Sheriff Miyamoto. 

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department serves the people of San Francisco by administering the county jails, providing security for the Superior Court and other high-profile public buildings, and performing civil court orders. Led by elected Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, the Sheriff’s Department employs more than 850 sworn staff and almost 200 non-sworn employees.