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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Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Amy Coney Barrett took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice at a White House ceremony Monday night, not long after the Senate voted to confirm her nomination to the high court in a 52-48 vote.

The state of play: Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath. The Supreme Court wrote in a statement that Barrett will take the judicial oath on Tuesday, at which point she will be able to begin her work on the court.

Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.