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California Gov. Gavin Newsom in Sacramento in February. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced on Friday plans to expedite the release of as many as 8,000 inmates as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Why it matters: The state's government is facing increased pressure from lawmakers and activists to limit the spread of the virus among California's prisoners and prison staff, Politico reports.

What they're saying: "These actions are taken to provide for the health and safety of the incarcerated population and staff," CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said in a statement. "We aim to implement these decompression measures in a way that aligns both public health and public safety."

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that prisons cannot release inmates who do not have anywhere to go when they return to society.
  • “What I can’t do is release people to the streets and sidewalks and parks and benches and call that compassion,” Newsom said, according to Politico.

The big picture: The state prison system currently reports that 5,881 inmates have contracted the coronavirus, while 1,243 prison employees have been infected.

  • More than a third of the inmates and staff at the San Quentin State Prison in the San Francisco Bay Area tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 4. Some officials have called it the worst prison health crisis in the state's history, according to NPR.

Go deeper: We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Go deeper

White House outlines health guidelines following Trump's return

Marine One carrying President Trump back to the White House on Oct. 5. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

The White House said Tuesday it has had "hospital-grade disinfection policies" since March, as it outlined the residence's health and safety precautions in a new memo that follows President Trump's return from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday.

Why it matters: The memo comes amid a botched response to the cluster of cases within the White House, which jeopardized the health of the president and his staff and set a poor example in a country that's already done a terrible job handling the virus, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.

N.J. governor: Health officials have contacted 184 people from Trump fundraiser

President Trump meets with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in the Oval Office of the White House on April 30.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) blasted President Trump and his staff on Monday, saying they "acted recklessly" by attending last week's fundraiser event in Bedminster after learning they had been exposed to the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The Republican National Committee sent New Jersey health officials a list on Friday of at least 206 people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus at the fundraiser, which Trump attended after learning that his close aide Hope Hicks had tested positive. Murphy said on Monday that state health officials had contacted 184 of the 206 people.

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."