California inmates tried to infect themselves with coronavirus in hopes of release, sheriff says – NBC News

A neighborhood of Los Angeles County inmates deliberately tried to infect themselves with the coronavirus in a improper perception they might well per chance per chance be launched in the occasion that they were ill, the sheriff said Monday.

Video launched Monday by Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva perceived to blow their own horns inmates at North County Correctional Facility in Castaic drinking from the identical bottle of scorching water and taking turns breathing thru the identical masks.

Villanueva known as the behavior traumatic.

“As a correct away end result of the behavior seen in the video, 21 males tested obvious for COVID-19 internal a week,” he said in a press release.

The sheriff said a spike in cases in mid-April brought about officials to review the surveillance video.

“In a plan there became as soon as some improper perception among the inmate population that in the occasion that they tested obvious that there became as soon as a plan to power our hand and come what might well per chance release extra inmates out of our jail ambiance — and that’s the reason not going to happen,” Villanueva said.

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All 21 other folks that tested obvious were from the identical module where the video became as soon as taken, Villanueva said. In all, the module had about 50 inmates.

Officers think the inmates were using the scorching water to raise their temperatures — fever is a symptom of the disease, Villanueva said.

All inmates recognize get entry to to their very believe cup and the scorching water dispenser, and there will not be always any clarification for them to fragment, he said.

No longer for sure one of the crucial inmates admitted to trying to infect themselves or elevate their temperature, Villanueva said.

Villanueva said the behavior imperiled the protection of diverse inmates as neatly as workers.

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In March, the sheriff introduced that some inmates had been launched early and that police departments had been asked to quote in desire to arrest some offenders as methods to defend jail populations low.

The technique, which started in February, resulted in a discount of about 5,000 inmates, from bigger than 17,000 to spherical 11,700, Villanueva said Monday.

“Had this pandemic swept thru while we were sitting on 17,000 inmates, the outcomes would were catastrophic,” Villanueva said.

As of Monday 4,590 inmates were quarantined internal the Los Angeles County jail intention, 317 of whom were isolated, the sheriff’s division says.

There were 357 inmates who recognize tested obvious for COVID-19, nonetheless 117 recognize since been classified as completely recovered, in step with the division. Inmates must recognize two detrimental assessments before being allowed to come attend to strange population, Villanueva said.

Villanueva said that the division is doing the total lot internal its vitality to stop the spread of the virus in the jail intention, including now trying out all inmates entering the intention.

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Image: Phil helselPhil Helsel

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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