All Bexar County Jail staff, inmates to be tested for COVID-19, health officials say

The decision was announced Saturday and is an effort to help mitigate the spread of the virus in the jail

SAN ANTONIO – All sworn and civilian staff at the Bexar County Jail, along with the entire inmate population, will be tested for COVID-19, according to health officials.

This decision was announced Saturday and is an effort to help mitigate the spread of the virus at the Bexar County Jail.

The testing will be conducted at the jail daily until all staff and inmates have been tested, officials said. Testing will also include sheriff’s office staff, all Bexar County staff, Health System staff, and contracted personnel working at the jail.

The test results can take up to 24-48 hours. Officials said many of those that have tested positive for the virus at the jail are asymptomatic carriers and by testing everyone, more data will be provided that will accurately show what percentage of staff and inmates have contracted the virus.

Officials also announced that units at the main jail and jail annex have been repurposed to support coronavirus patients in case more cases arise in the facility.

31 BCSO deputies, 57 jail inmates total have tested positive for COVID-19

As of Friday, a total of 57 inmates tested positive for COVID-19, 31 deputies, one video visitation civilian employee, one dispatcher, one laundry tech, one Bexar County facilities maintenance employee, 5 UHS employees, and one Bexar County fleet maintenance employee.

Officials said they estimate over 1,000 staff members will be tested for the virus, in addition to nearly 3,000 inmates that are currently in custody.

We’ll bring more updates as they become available.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.


About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.