Photos of Santa Clara County jail deputies partying without masks have surfaced amid a new Covid-19 outbreak that’s spread to at least 30 inmates, according to media reports.
The Mercury News broke the story Thursday about the off-duty revelry, which reportedly took place on Dec. 6 and appeared to involve a gathering of more than three households—a violation of public health rules.
In a statement to the daily newspaper, sheriff’s officials said the agency expects employees to abide by public health guidelines and, as members of law enforcement, to hold themselves to a higher standard.
“The behavior depicted in the Facebook post in question are not representative of these expectations or the agency as a whole,” the Sheriff’s Office told the newspaper in a prepared statement. “If in fact they are sheriff’s deputies, they are expected to adhere to public health guidance as well as conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, whether on or off duty. The matter is being looked into.”
As of Thursday, the county’s online dashboard tracking coronavirus cases in local jails recorded 117 cases since March and 34 active infections.
The latest tally of active infections among staff includes 19 correctional deputies, 11 on the patrol side and five non-sworn employees.