Alameda County Probation Officer Concerned About Lack of Infrared Thermometers

Thermometers for SFFD
NBC Bay Area

Alameda County Chief Probation Officer Wendy Still told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that she's concerned about a lack of infrared thermometers at the county's juvenile hall in San Leandro.

Speaking at the board's weekly update on the novel coronavirus pandemic, Still said infrared thermometers are in high demand and she can't test her staff until she gets them.

However, Still said there haven't been any confirmed COVID-19 cases among her staff or among the youths at juvenile hall.

Still said there are currently 56 youths at juvenile hall, 24 at the Camp Sweeney juvenile detention center in the San Leandro hills, 47 under electronic monitoring and 39 under home supervision.

Still said detention hearings for youths housed at juvenile hall are only held twice a week so some of them may wind up being detained longer than normal under the current circumstances in which most courts are closed.

Sheriff's Cmdr. Thomas Madigan said there haven't been any confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates or staff members at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Madigan said a nurse at the jail presumptively tested positive for the coronavirus last week but the test was conducted by a private laboratory that hasn't yet been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the result hasn't been confirmed.

Madigan said jail staff have taken extra precautions in the wake of the pandemic and do thorough screenings of new inmates in the open air outside the jail before they are admitted inside.

The Board of Supervisors' online meeting was marred by technical problems and most of the weekly update by county interim health officer Dr. Erica Pan couldn't be heard by the public.

The board eventually wound up switching its meeting to the Zoom video conferencing app.

At one point board president Richard Valle said, "I apologize to the public for the technology."

The board was scheduled to vote on a request by Sheriff Gregory Ahern for $85 million in additional funds to hire an extra 216 sworn and 47 non-sworn positions at the Santa Rita Jail over the next three years but the board postponed the matter until its April 21 meeting.

Even though the matter was postponed, several members of activist groups who oppose Ahern's funding request waited until the public comment session at the end of the lengthy meeting to tell the board that they should either scrap the proposal completely or at least vote against it.

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