LA County’s Sheriff says there have been 12 COVID-related deaths to date in county jail system

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LA County’s Sheriff says there have been 12 COVID-related deaths to date in the county jail system.

Several of those who died had underlying health conditions, according to Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

He says "Stage 4 cancer patients, heart attacks, other issues. In fact, some came from the state prison system, a few of them, into our midst. When we compare that to the population of the county, overwhelmingly it is far more dangerous outside the walls of the county jail system than it is inside the jail system."

He made the comments while addressing the County’s Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission on the department’s efforts to deal with the virus in the jails.

Assistant Sheriff Bruce Chase said they test every individual coming into the system regardless of whether they have symptoms or not, and have been doing so since May.

Chase said inmates are also tested, separated and isolated if they exhibit or complain of any symptoms.