CA considering releasing more prisoners early amid COVID-19 outbreaks

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced more inmates may be released to mitigate coronavirus outbreaks in prisons.
SACRAMENTO, Calif (KABC) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that more inmates may be released to mitigate coronavirus outbreaks in prisons.

The announcement comes as more than 900 new cases of the virus have been confirmed in just the past two weeks at San Quentin.

Officials say 40% of prisoners there are considered medically vulnerable -- and 110 of them may be eligible for earlier release.

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The state previously let out 3,500 people who were within 150 days of release, and Newsom said 3,500 more could be released under the same criteria.

California has greatly ramped up virus testing, and Newsom and health officials warned that would bring an increase in the number of confirmed cases. But recently the infection rate and hospitalizations also have increased - admissions to intensive care units are up by more than a third in the last two weeks, Newsom said.

California's death count is just under 6,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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