Asymptomatic bailiff at San Francisco Hall of Justice tests positive for COVID-19

A deputy with the San Francisco sheriff's office assigned to the Hall of Justice has tested positive for coronavirus, the seventh San Francisco sheriff employee to test positive for COVID-19.

Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said Friday that the deputy involved had followed all departmental safety protocols, including wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.

The COVID-19 test results were received Thursday evening. 

“The virus is surging again so this is not completely surprising,” said Miyamoto in a statement Friday. “What’s critical is that we not only follow CDC guidelines to prevent COVID, but that we also share information as soon as someone tests positive so we can track any potential exposures and prevent further spread.”

The sheriff’s Office notified superior court judge Loretta Giorgi as well as the supervising judge of the court’s criminal division. District attorney Chesa Boudin and public defender Manohar Raju were also informed of the positive test result.

A contact tracing investigation was immediately launched to track down and identify any person or people who may have had exposure to the deputy who tested positive.

In March, five sheriff employees tested positive for coronavirus. A sixth staff member tested positive in early July and has not returned to work.

In addition to the bailiff who tested positive, the sheriff's office also announced a total of 24 people -- all asymptomatic -- have tested positive for COVID-19 and were isolated while they stayed in the sheriff's custody.

Of the 24, three remain in custody but have since recovered. All others have been released.

There are currently no known COVID-19 cases in San Francisco county jail.

“Our strict testing and jail housing protocols have ensured that justice-involved people who test positive remain isolated while in custody and get the support they need when they are released,” said Miyamoto. “But this virus is wily and will look for a wormhole. We can’t let our guard down for one minute.”