But none have been seriously ill and employees are starting to return to work

Coronavirus has affected about 20 Kern County Sheriff's employees and nine inmates, Sheriff Donny Youngblood said, but he indicated none have been seriously ill.

Youngblood, speaking in a brief video message, gave an upbeat assessment of COVID-19 and the department.

"We're really encouraged with the numbers that we're seeing," he said.

Two of the employees who have tested positive are already back at work, he said, and more are expected to return to work next week.

The nine inmates with the virus are located in one section of one jail facility, he said, and said the numbers are not increasing