COVID-19 Response

Updated August 3rd, 2021, 12:00PM

Sheriff Jim Hart has been working closely with County Law Enforcement Chiefs, the County Health Officer and other Governmental Agencies, following ongoing guidance and restrictions from the California Department of Public Health.

Face Coverings are also required when individuals come into contact with or interact with others while conducting most essential activities.

Governor Newsome and the California Department of Public Health established guidlines for businesses impacted by the shutdown.

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

  • Patrol Division personnel and Detectives shall wear face coverings when making direct contact with all individuals.
  • Face masks will be worn inside any Sheriff’s Office Headquarters building.
  • 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.
  • Ride alongs have been suspended until further notice.


  • All new inmates are tested upon being housed.  Non-vaccinated employees are tested weekly.
  • 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 schedule 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 and the Custody Alternative Office (CAP) is open with modified office hours Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday from 8 am to 6 pm.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • All meetings conducted virtually.
  • 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.