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Coronavirus: Los Angeles inmates deliberately spread virus amid early-release rumors

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A group of inmates at a Los Angeles jail deliberately tried to infect each other with the deadly coronavirus after rumors spread claiming that those infected with the disease would be released early, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Video surveillance posted by the department showed multiple men sipping from a single water bottle and passing it around to each other.

The deadly virus, also known as COVID-19, can spread through respiratory droplets, by direct contact with infected persons, or by contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.

As a result, 21 men tested positive within a week, the sheriff’s statement added.

The Los Angeles Country jail has had a total of 222 positive coronavirus cases out of a total of 4,590 inmates, according to the sheriff.

To help curb the outbreak inside the jail, the department said it began reducing its inmate population by more than 5,000 bodies, ordered COVID-19 screening, educated staff and inmates about preventative measures, and provided personal protective equipment for everyone in the facilities.

The United States has reported 1,347,936 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to a John Hopkins University tally.

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