Six inmates, seven staffers at the Salt Lake County jails have coronavirus

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County Jail on Friday, March 20, 2020.

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Six people who are incarcerated at Salt Lake County jail facilities have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to sheriff’s officials, along with seven jail staffers.

Jail officials are awaiting test results for five more inmates, Sgt. Carrie Fisher said Tuesday.

Fisher said that those inmates who have tested positive are in a medical quarantine at the Metro jail facility. She did not say whether they were at the main Metro jail or the smaller Oxbow facility prior to being placed in quarantine.

Four officers and one civilian staff members from the Oxbow jail have tested positive for COVID-19, sheriff’s officials said Tuesday. And two civilian staff members from the Metro jail have also tested positive.

Jail officials announced their first in-custody coronavirus case last Thursday, an inmate at the Oxbow facility who was taken to medical quarantine with 51 others who were in the same dorm-style housing unit.

Another man who was released from the Oxbow jail on March 26 also tested positive for the coronavirus the day after his release, according to his defense attorney.

There are currently 214 inmates at the Oxbow facility and 1,299 in the Metro jail — a total of 1,564 incarcerated people. It's the lowest the jail population has been in years, as officials try to reduce the number of people who are behind bars as the coronavirus spreads in Utah.

The number of people brought to the jail also decreased significantly this March compared to last. There was a 26% decrease in bookings this March, with 1,973 bookings, compared to one year ago, when there were 2,669.