Prisons and jails across the US are turning into ‘petri dishes’ for coronavirus. Staffers are falling ill, too.
(CNN)In the US, the largest known concentration of coronavirus cases outside of hospitals isn’t on a cruise ship or in a nursing home. It’s at a jail in Chicago.At least 251 detainees and 150 staff members — mostly deputies — at Cook County Jail have tested positive for coronavirus, the county sheriff’s office said Wednesday. One detainee who tested positive for the virus has died, and at least 22 detainees are hospitalized.Across the country, prisons and jails have become hotbeds for coronavirus. Close confinement is likely fueling the spread. “Jails in this country are petri dishes,” said Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president. “It’s very difficult in a jail to maintain social distancing.”But this isn’t just a major health problem. It’s also a growing safety concern. Melee breaks out in a Washington prisonIn Washington state, violence erupted Wednesday after six inmates at Monroe Correctional Complex tested positive for coronavirus. It started with a demonstration in the recreation yard involving more than 100 inmates, the Washington Department of Corrections said.”All measures to bring individuals into compliance were ignored including verbal directives, pepper (OC) spray and sting balls, which release light, noise, and rubber pellets,” the department said.”Fire extinguishers were set off