Los Angeles, April 30 (IANS) Nearly half of the inmates at a Southern California jail have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, making it the worst-hit in the US federal prison system.
As of Tuesday, 443 of 1,055 inmates at the Terminal Island Correctional Institution in San Pedro were infected, along with 10 staff members, Xinhua news agency reported.
Two inmates have already died of complications related to COVID-19, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday, citing the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The bureau reported a total of 1,313 inmates and 335 staff nationwide have confirmed positive for COVID-19 throughout the system that holds about 153,000 inmates.
Thirty of those inmates had died of coronavirus-related illnesses so far.
Dozens of inmates have been moved into tents in an effort to create social distancing.
A military-style medical facility was being erected in the low-security prison yards to cope with the burgeoning number of sick, according to the Los Angeles Times report.
Last week, the Terminal Island prison had only 57 inmates who tested positive for COVID-19.
But the number has skyrocketed nearly 700 per cent in just seven days, a local TV station, CBSLA, reported.
Terminal Island prison officials said they’ve tested over 1,000 inmates and taken steps to stop the spread of COVID-19, including issuing masks to inmates and staff, according to the CBSLA.