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Maryland Delegation Members Urge Governor to Address Rapidly Spreading COVID-19 Outbreak at State Prisons

April 16th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Jamie B. Raskin, Steny H. Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Anthony G. Brown, and David Trone (all D-Md.) sent a letter to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, urging him to take steps to address the outbreak of COVID-19 within the State’s prisons. As the Members note, an outbreak within Maryland’s prison system threatens not only those incarcerated, but also corrections employees and the surrounding communities.

 

The Members write, “In light of recent reports that an inmate has died of complications due to COVID-19, we urge you to take aggressive actions to stop the further spread of this virus amongst the state’s prison population. We are concerned that an outbreak of COVID-19 within Maryland’s correctional system would endanger the health of all – surrounding communities, correctional staff, first responders and inmates.”

 

They stress the urgency of acting immediately, noting, “As of Monday, April 13, there were 93 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Maryland correctional facilities. This represents a sharp increase after the department confirmed 57 cases on Friday, April 10… We appreciate your efforts to increase hygiene and create isolation units for COVID-19 patients as necessary first steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 amongst the state’s prison population and correctional officers. However, the sharp increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst the state’s prison population illustrates the need for more action.”

 

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