Officials in California say inmates at one jail found a way to infect themselves with the Coronavirus in an attempt to receive early release.
Staff at the North County Correctional Facility say they became concerned when within two weeks, 30 inmates suddenly became ill with COVID-19 despite the facility’s special measures to prevent a potential outbreak.
While many other facilities reported several cases of the virus, the North County Correctional Facility says their methods have kept the facility free of the virus up until mid – April.
Authorities say they reviewed surveillance video of interactions between the inmates to make sure that they were all wearing their masks and practicing distance measures within general population times.
That’s when they discovered the scheme two groups of inmates put together in attempt to get early release.
Officials says several inmates were seen drinking from the same cup, while another group passed around a mask in attempt to transfer the virus to themselves. 21 inmates became sick from the water cup incident and 9 inmates became sick from the mask incident.
Authorities say none of the inmates have admitted to the scheme, however, they believe that the inmates thought that if they became ill with the virus, they would be released.
While 30 inmates have tested positive for the virus, most of the inmates had little to no symptoms and no fatalities were reported according to staff members.
Assistant Sheriff of Custody Operations Bruce Chase, says that they need to do a better job at educating both their deputies and the inmates about the dangers of their actions:
“We’re responsible for their care,” Chase said. ” That includes protecting them from themselves.”