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COVID-19 Response

Updated July 22, 2020 12:00pm

Sheriff Jim Hart has been working closely with County Law Enforcement Chiefs, the County Health Officer and other Governmental Agencies, following the updated Shelter in Place Order (in Spanish)to ensure public safety. Shortly after the County enacted a Shelter in Place Order, Governor Gavin Newsome imposed a statewide Shelter in Place Order.

The Health Officer of Santa Cruz County is also requiring individuals to wear face coverings  (In Spanish) when they come into contact or interact with others while conducting most essential activities.

Most recently Governor Newsome mandated a second business shutdown calling for indoor operations to shut down immediately in all counties; including, but not limited to movie theaters, dine-in restaurants and wineries.

Locally, the Health Officer has lifted the beach closures throughout the County.

This is an unprecedented emergency and our response is fluid based on the latest health directives and situations we encounter.

To date we have modified our operations accordingly:

Law Enforcement

  • Established County Parks and Beach Contact Teams.
  • Patrol Division personnel and Detectives shall wear N95 masks when making direct contact with all individuals.
  • Face masks will be worn inside any Sheriff’s Office Headquarters building.
  • All passengers shall wear a face mask while riding inside Sheriff’s Office vehicles.
  • Deputies are working a 12-hour shift.
  • Deputies will respond to in-progress calls for service and handle non-priority calls by phone.
  • Patrol will continue highly visible, proactive park, business and school security checks along with foot patrols.
  • All service centers are temporarily shut down.
  • Deputies have received training on procedures and have access to Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Patrol Division is directed to increase enforcement surrounding Shelter in Place Order and cite any individual failing to comply with the Order.


  • Testing progam for newly incarcerated individuals.
  • Corrections Officers shall wear masks while on duty. Type of mask will be determined by assignment.
  • California Governor Gavin Newsom directed Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye to alter the bail schedule to release inmates beign held on misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges.
  • The new bail sechedule also set $0 bail for most new felony and misdemeanor offenses.
  • With authorization from the Health Officer and Presiding Judge, early release of persons charged, convicted or accused of non-violent, non-sexual and non-serious offenses.
  • Identify and establish Preliminary Observation Unit for newly housed arrestees.
  • Mandatory showers for all newly housed arrestees who must remain in custody.
  • Work Release Program suspended; participants will receive appropriate credit.
  • Establish dedicated housing unit for incarcerated persons 65 and older.
  • Establish dedicated Quarantine and Isolation units.
  • All visitation suspended except Attorneys and Clergy.
  • Free video visitation available for 15 minutes per week.
  • Free phone visitation for all housed incarcerated persons 10 minutes per week.
  • Free postage for all outgoing mail.
  • All programming suspended.
  • Division of Reentry is temporarily suspended.
  • Long-Haul Transportation is temporarily suspended.
  • Mental Health and Medical services continuing.
  • Screening all employees before entering jail facilities each workday.
  • Screening all arrestees for symptoms prior to entry.
  • Screening individuals already in custody.
  • Jail tours have been suspended.
  • Increased hygiene and cleaning procedures in housing units.
  • Educating inmates on proper hygiene and safety techniques.
  • Developed a symptom response protocol.

With the Jail Lobbies closed, money orders (payable to the inmate) can still be mailed in addressed to:
Inmate Name, Inmate S#
Santa Cruz Main Jail
259 Water Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

Credit card deposits can also be made at these websites:,, or by phone at (866) 345-1884.

Court Security

  • Increased security staffing to support court operations.
  • In-custody arraignments being conducted in Department 11.
  • Persons issued notices to appear are not required to complete pre-booking process.


  • Most evictions have been temporarily suspended.

Sheriff’s Office Staff

  • Screening all employees prior to entering any Headquarters building.
  • Non-sworn employees should wear face masks while inside any Sheriff’s Office Headquarters building and should wear a N95 mask when making direct contact with a member of the public.
  • Limiting internal meetings.
  • Giving option for some support staff to work from home.
  • Staffing plan for those impacted by illness, childcare or a sick loved one.
  • Training and information on best hygiene practices.

To learn more please visit the County of Santa Cruz Public Health website by clicking here.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.

The State of California has also launched a website dedicated to COVID-19 you can visit by clicking here.

If you have questions about Coronavirus/COVID-19, please call United Way of Santa Cruz County at 211 or text "covid19" to 211211.

To report a business or vacation rental violating the Shelter in Place Order please call 831-454-7747.