Lock Down to Decontaminate Jail
According to a KSAT 12 article, the Bexar County jail went into lock down so they could decontaminate the jail. This latest action came after two more employees tested positive for COVID-19. One of the employees was a maintenance worker who had facility wide access. The Salazar administration keeps throwing out terms to make everything they do sound very professional and official but the last time they “decontaminated” an area, I heard that all they did was tell the officers who worked the area, to wipe down their workstation with antiseptic wipes. That’s something each oncoming officer should be doing anyway. I sure would like to know what this decontamination entailed and what areas were really addressed because I also suspect it’s nowhere near as much as we’re being led to believe.
Infected Bexar County Jail Employees
So far, four Bexar County Jail employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Zero inmates have tested positive. It’s ironic that the common belief, us included, was that the people being arrested would be the ones bringing the virus into the jail. It turns out that is not the case at all. What it says is that the Sheriff Salazar is not impressing the importance of safety measures on his staff. Safety measures that should be followed ALL THE TIME, not just while at work. Masks, eye protection, gloves, and social distancing while out and STAYING HOME unless absolutely necessary. It appears the biggest threat to an outbreak at the jail is employees not taking this virus as seriously as they should. That is something that is within the power of the Sheriff to address. Of course, if they are not walking around in the building with masks on, showing that they don’t take it seriously, then I guess it’s hard to get your employees to believe it’s serious.
Hiring Freeze will Affect the Jail
The County Manager announced a hiring and spending freeze due to the lack of revenue being generated. Bexar County is going to have a shortfall. There is no way around that. We’ve been through it before. We’ll survive. But it will affect the jail. From what I am hearing, quite a few people are leaving. Most are leaving because they want to get away from an incompetent administration but some are leaving because they are afraid of being infected with the coronavirus. That second group is going to start increasing as the situation gets worse. Then you have the people who are put out on leave because they may have been exposed. The Bexar County Jail already has a full class of new detention officers out on leave because one of them tested positive.
We don’t know how many people that maintenance man came into contact with and we don’t know how many were placed on leave because of it. All this spells trouble for the jail. Staffing was already an issue that the Salazar administrations was doing an abysmal job of addressing. Now they can’t address it at all. I’d like to believe that Sheriff Salazar and his administration has a contingency plan but his administration has proven to us that they only react and at that, it’s a knee jerk reaction, not a thought out one. We worry for the employees and the inmates in the Bexar County Jail.