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

Sep 17, 2020 - Health

WHO: Health care workers account for around 14% of coronavirus cases

A health worker collecting coronavirus samples in New Delhi on Sept. 16. Photo: Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Though health workers represent less than 3% of the population in many countries, they account for around 14% coronavirus cases reported to the World Health Organization, the organization announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The WHO called on governments and health care leaders to address threats facing the health and safety of these workers, adding that the pandemic has highlighted how protecting them is needed to ensure a functioning health care system.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Wall Street fears stimulus is doomed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The fight over a new Supreme Court justice will take Washington's partisan bickering to a new level and undermine any chance for needed coronavirus relief measures before November's election, Wall Street analysts say.

What we're hearing: "With the passing of Justice Ginsburg, the level of rhetorical heat has increased, if that seemed even possible," Greg Staples, head of fixed income for the Americas at DWS Group, tells Axios in an email.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 31,346,086 — Total deaths: 965,294— Total recoveries: 21,518,790Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,858,130 — Total deaths: 199,890 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!