Coronavirus strikes Lerdo Jail
April 16, 2020 | View PDF
Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press
It was confirmed last week that five officers at Lerdo Jail have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Kern County Detentions Officers Union Representative Dustin Alkire said in a statement on April 7 that the officers had tested positive for COVID-19 and are resting at home. He went on to say that they are doing well.
Earlier, Sheriff Donny Youngblood announced that there were 10 sheriff's office employees with the virus. Youngblood said, "All of the employees are being isolated and are receiving treatment."
To date, none of the employees have been hospitalized. The news comes on the heels of public questions about the amount of information the public is receiving from the Kern County Public Health Department.
Several concerned citizens have voiced that one of the worst parts of the pandemic is not knowing everything that is going on. When Kern County first had residents test positive for COVID-19, the Health Department devised a map that grouped the county into regions, much like the geographical information given annually regarding Valley Fever.
According to Public Health Department Epidemiologist Kimberly Hernandez, "We have an obligation to protect the privacy of individuals affected by COVID-19 due to HIPPA laws. The more information we provide, other than the region in which the case is, the easier it becomes to identify one or more of the people who have been affected."
There have been 24 reported cases in the valley region, which includes Shafter, Wasco and other surrounding county cities.