COVID-19 News

Coronavirus Infections Hit 30,000 in US Prison

At least 30,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in US prisons among inmates and guards, a US university research group said on Wednesday, as a government study said prison guards could be instrumental in the spread of the disease, AFP said.

According to the details, the data assembled from official sources by the Covid-19 Behind Bars Project of the UCLA law school revealed that out of more than two million people imprisoned in the US, there were 21,007 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 295 deaths.

The data showed that among the staff of the prison, there were 8,754 cases and 34 deaths.

The data was assembled from federal, state, and local prisons countrywide.

Infections in jails across the US have jumped in recent weeks even as the national daily total appears to have reached a plateau.

Despite the powerful hit of COVID-19 infection across the country, with 1.2 million confirmed cases and more than 70,000 deaths, some areas are still not open about jail infections, and others have done limited testing.

Many of the more than 1,000 incarceration facilities or reporting units count zero or one infection. But in some, there are hundreds: in the state prison in Marion, Ohio, 2,176 prisoners and 175 staff are reported infected with coronavirus, with 12 deaths.

In Ohio jail, in Pickaway, 1,670 inmates and 101 staff contracted coronavirus, and there have been 26 deaths. While in the Trousdale, Tennessee state prison, 1,285 prisoners and 50 staff are coronavirus positive, with one death recorded.

A report on the pandemic in prisons Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control said a large number of staff is infected.

Using data that was taken earlier and is less complete than the UCLA data, the CDC study noted that half of the facilities reporting at least one COVID-19 case list only prison staff as infected.

“Because staff members move between correctional facilities and their communities daily, they might be an important source of virus introduction into facilities,” the study said.

Samra Mazhar

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