Central jail in downtown San Diego
The central jail on Front Street in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department announced new health restrictions Thursday at five county jails after a surge in coronavirus cases over the past week.

The department reported 125 cases and three hospitalizations after testing at the San Diego Central Jail, Vista Detention Facility, George Baily Detention Facility, East Mesa Re-Entry Facility and South Bay Detention Facility.

As a result, the department has returned to “a more restrictive environment” with all social visits suspended and quarantines for newly arrested people.

“The safety, security, health and well-being of the people in our custody, as well as the deputies and employees who care for them, will always be a priority for the sheriff’s department,” the agency said in a statement.

The department said it offers vaccinations to all inmates, but so far only about a quarter — 4,096 to date — have accepted.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.