Orange County jail inmate tests positive for the coronavirus

Men's Central  Jail
The scene outside the Men’s Central Jail in Santa Ana.
(Christina House / For The Times)

An inmate in the Men’s Central Jail in Santa Ana has tested positive for the coronavirus, the first Orange County inmate to do so, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The inmate, whose name was not released, is in his 40s. He recently showed symptoms of the flu and was placed in isolation, said Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Test results returned Tuesday showed he has the coronavirus, Braun said.

The man has “moderate symptoms” and does not require hospitalization, she said.

Sheriff’s officials have an electronic-card system that can trace all the inmates the man has come in contact with, so officials are working to notify all of them about potential exposure, Braun said.

Those inmates will be closely monitored for symptoms and their movements in the jail will be restricted for up to two weeks, but they won’t be placed in isolation unless they show symptoms, Braun said.


The inmate was booked on June 17, 2018, on suspicion of child endangerment, torture, false imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon, Braun said.

Ten Orange County Jail inmates who fell ill with flu-like symptoms recently were isolated, but on Sunday, coronavirus test results came back negative for eight of them and they were released from isolation, Braun said.