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Several DC inmates test positive for coronavirus

All five are in isolation to keep them away from other inmates at the jail.

WASHINGTON — Several inmates at the D.C. Department of Corrections have tested positive for the coronavirus, including two inmates that tested positive for the virus earlier in the week.

The latest inmate to test positive for the coronavirus is a 37-year-old man who has been in quarantine since March 26.

Two positive cases are a 37-year-old and 38-year-old, according to D.C. Department of Corrections.

Both inmates were housed in the Correctional Treatment Facility, D Building. They were moved to the quarantine unit on March 26 as a precautionary measure after an individual from their unit tested positive for COVID-19.  

The other two inmates to test positive for the virus include a 44-year-old man -- not housed in the same unit with the first positive case -- and a 20-year-old man, who was confirmed to have the virus on March 25, DOC officials said. 

DOC's strategic communication director Dr. Keena Blackmon said the 20-year-old man who tested positive shared a cell. His cellmate has been moved to quarantine.

As coronavirus continues to impact the DMV, advocates and members of D.C. government have pushed for measures to help manage it's spread, including asking police to make fewer arrests.

Emergency legislation from D.C. Council issued on March 17 gives the DOC the ability to release those sentenced in the jail on misdemeanor charges.

RELATED: 65 inmates in self-quarantine, 1 tested for coronavirus at DC jail

Earlier in March, 65 inmates were quarantined after coming in contact with a U.S. Marshal who tested positive for the virus. 

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said that MPD has expanded the criteria they are using to determine which arrestees are released on, "citation pending a future court date."

He said that his staff is monitoring the lockup list, in an effort to bring fewer people to the court system. 

"The courts are really strained at the moment since they had a positive test," Newsham said. 

Credit: dc DOC
The outside of the D.C. Department of Corrections building.

RELATED: Coronavirus live updates DMV: Over 1,600 cases across the DMV, 23 deaths

RELATED: Official: No Virginia inmates have tested positive for COVID-19

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