Update - Confirmed COVID-19 cases at the Jails

Dear OCEA member,

We wanted to provide you with an update on workplace safety conditions among the Orange County Jail’s Correctional Health staff. There are now over thirty (30) confirmed COVID-19 cases in the jails. As you may recall, we specifically highlighted the vulnerabilities of Correctional personnel in an April 3, 2020, letter to County CEO Frank Kim. We demanded adequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other measures to lower the risk of exposure and infection for workers performing essential duties. You can read the letter here.

Since that time, the lack of adequate PPE has not significantly changed. The recent spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 case at the jails justifies our deep concerns. In a letter to Mr. Kim dated Monday, April 27, OCEA demanded that the County provide voluntary COVID-19 testing to all OCEA-represented employees working in correctional facilities and immediately provide the following optimal PPEs as appropriate in sufficient quantity and quality to protect vulnerable workers during the performance of their duties:

• Eye Protection
• Isolation Gowns
• Face masks
• N-95 Respirators
• Powered Air-Purifying Respirators

You can read the April 27 letter here.

The County has had plenty of time. There is no more important COVID-related expense than providing for the safety and protection of the workers required to perform high hazard tasks.

You can take action now to provide the data needed to push the County in the right direction. Click here to complete the OCEA Safety Survey. We have extended the deadline to make sure we hear all your concerns so complete the survey as soon as possible.

Standing together, we will fight to make sure our workplaces are safe.

In Solidarity,

Charles Barfield
OCEA General Manager

Publication Date: April 28, 2020