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Fresno County Jail Reports Over 500 Cases Of COVID-19

Fresno Alliance
Fresno County Jail

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department reported 507 positive COVID-19 cases at the county jail on Monday. That’s almost a quarter of the total jail population, but testing has still been limited to one part of the facility. 

The sheriff’s department reported its first cases of the coronavirus on June 19th. That’s when 13 incarcerated people who were being transferred out tested positive for COVID-19. The 13 had been housed in the jail’s north annex. 

“That told us then that they could have exposed others in that facility so we really concentrated our efforts to testing everyone in the north jail which is around 1200 inmates,” said spokesperson Tony Botti.  

He said that area is now in quarantine. Those who have tested positive have been put in separate quarters. But the rest of the jail’s population is not being tested.  

“We’re just not there right now to be proactively testing the remaining 900 or so inmates that we have that make up the other two facilities,” said Botti.   

There are 2,125 people incarcerated at the facility as of Monday. Twenty-five correctional officers and a deputy sheriff have also tested positive. So far, Botti said, no one has been hospitalized.


Madi Bolanos covered immigration and underserved communities for KVPR from 2020-2022. Before joining the station, she interned for POLITCO in Washington D.C. where she reported on US trade and agriculture as well as indigenous women’s issues during the Canadian election. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in anthropology from San Francisco State University. Madi spent a semester studying at the Danish Media and Journalism School where she covered EU policies in Brussels and alleged police brutality at the Croatian-Serbian border.
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