Apr 1, 2020 - Health

Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons to enter 14-day quarantine

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons "will be secured in their assigned cells/quarters" for 14 days beginning on April 1 to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Bureau of Prisons announced on Tuesday.

The big picture: State-run jails in regions with high infection rates are freeing prisoners to fight the spread of COVID-19 between those who live in overcrowded and often unsanitary spaces that make social distancing near impossible.

  • In California, 3,500 inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes are scheduled to be released from California's prison system to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Los Angeles Times reports.
    • State prisons in the state have also "been locking down cell blocks where inmates exhibit flu-like symptoms," the per the L.A. Times.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week that he plans to release roughly 300 nonviolent Rikers Island inmates who are over 70 years old.
  • New Jersey's chief justice authorized the release of up to 1,000 people from its jails last week, the N.Y. Times reports.

Between the lines: Although the 14-day quarantine is "Phase 5" of the Bureau of Prisons' coronavirus plan, the announcement comes two days after the first federal prison inmate died from COVID-19 in Louisiana.

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18 hours ago - Health

Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response

Protesters in Philadelphia on June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests against police brutality have prompted the closure of coronavirus test sites across the country, including in Pennsylvania, Florida, California and Illinois, Politico reports.

Why it matters: This adds to concerns that the protests themselves create an environment in which the virus can easily spread, particularly if and when protesters aren't wearing masks or social distancing.

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day — prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Protesters were still out en masse even as curfews set in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) slammed the New York Police Department late Tuesday following reports of police kettling in protesters on Manhattan Bridge.

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).