BCSO: County video visitation employee tests positive for COVID-19

Case is believed to be travel-related after the employee returned from a cruise ship trip, officials say

Bexar County Jail passes annual inspection
Bexar County Jail passes annual inspection

SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County video visitation employee has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

The COVID-19 case was announced Sunday and officials say it is likely travel-related, as the employee returned from a cruise ship trip on March 15.

The employee was asymptomatic while at work on Monday, March 16; however, they later reported feeling sick on Wednesday, March 18, according to the sheriff’s office.

The BCSO says the employee was placed on administrative leave out of an abundance of caution on Thursday, March 19. They are currently self-monitoring.

According to the sheriff’s office, these other employees were also affected by the positive COVID-19 case:

  • 11 other video visitation employees were placed on administrative leave through April 6 as a precautionary measure. None are showing symptoms but they are self-monitoring and will report to the sheriff’s administration daily.
  • 2 members of the sheriff’s administration will be working from home through April 6 out of caution, as they also had brief contact with the employee that tested positive. They will be self-monitoring their symptoms.
  • Members of the COVID-19 Incident Command Team will have no inmate contact but will continue to report for work. None of the team members are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and they had no direct contact with the employee that tested positive.

The employee did have contact with the public due to normal job duties; however, health officials say those that visited video visitation from Monday, March 16 - Wednesday, March 18 are at low-risk for acquiring COVID-19.

Those that did visit the center during that time are encouraged to self-monitor their symptoms, continue social distancing, maintain healthy practices and contact the Metro Health hotline at 210-207-5779 with any questions, according to the BCSO.

Officials say the video visitation building will stay closed temporarily for two weeks due to ongoing upgrades. Bexar County Facility Services will decontaminate the building as well.

This is the first COVID-19 positive case at the sheriff’s office.

As of Sunday, no uniformed officers or inmates have tested positive.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.