Launch of Data Collection for BSCC COVID-19 Dashboard

Date: July 15, 2020
TO: Sheriffs and Chief Probation Officers
FROM: Linda Penner, BSCC Chair
SUBJECT: Launch of Data Collection for BSCC COVID-19 Dashboard

I am writing today to inform you of a new effort to provide publicly accessible information about COVID-19 cases inside of California’s county detention facilities, both adult and juvenile. The BSCC will create a COVID-19 dashboard that will launch July 31, 2020, and we are asking for your assistance in two ways:

1. Providing weekly updates by facility on COVID-19 cases and deaths, and

2. Ensuring that your health care providers are reporting complete data to your county public health agency.

In recent BSCC meetings, there have been lengthy discussions by the BSCC Board and members of the community about the need for publicly available information on how detention facilities are dealing with the pandemic, especially the incidences of COVID-19 cases. Over the past few weeks, we have been in consultation with the California Health and Human Services Agency and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) about the available county-level detention facility data and how best to extract and report that data. We have reviewed the available public information about positive COVID-19 cases from the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE), a database that is hosted at CDPH, and it is clear that cases from detention facilities are significantly underreported in this database and are inaccurate compared to public and media reports on COVID-19 cases in jails and juvenile detention facilities. Consequently, the BSCC is launching this effort to provide facility-level data on COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Beginning July 20, 2020, we are urgently requesting that each Sheriff and Chief Probation Officer provide facility-level COVID-19 data directly to the BSCC. The data request will include the number of new positive COVID-19 tests for both residents and staff (reported separately), and deaths at each facility each week. We will also make a one-time request for your facilities’ cumulative COVID-19 case information and deaths to date.

In addition, we are requesting that you ensure that your facility health care providers are immediately reporting detailed case-level COVID-19 data to your county public health agency. (Health & Saf. Code, § 120130 & Cal. Code Regs, tit. 17, § 2500.) Every facility administrator should work with their health care providers to ensure that data are being reported timely and completely to your county public health department.

We will begin requesting data from each agency on July 20, 2020, and the target date for launching the BSCC COVID-19 dashboard is July 31, 2020. Consistent with CDPH guidance on privacy, counties that report fewer than 11 cases will be shown as <11. Detailed reporting instructions will be provided on the survey instrument.

If you have questions, please contact me at

Thank you for your continued support.