Maryland settles class-action lawsuit over coronavirus cases at detention facility

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In a court settlement reached on Thursday, the department agreed to begin vaccinating detainees and educating them about the benefits of a shot by May 1.

The department will also take steps to keep inmates who test positive for the virus away from uninfected inmates, quarantine inmates who have been exposed to an infected person, and conduct weekly coronavirus tests to check for the spread of the virus limit.

“Staff and residents come out of this facility every day,” said John Fowler, a civil rights attorney who filed the lawsuit in partnership with the Washington law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. “Everything that happens within the facility affects Baltimore. This settlement keeps the facility safer and Baltimore safer too.”

In the settlement agreement, the Ministry of Public Security and Correctional Services did not admit any wrongdoing.

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“Since the first day of the pandemic, the department has been committed to the health and safety of its inmates, inmates and employees,” said Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the department, noting Maryland’s corrective system for coronavirus rates Takes 37th place in the nation cases.

“The agreement related to the Chesapeake Detention Facility’s lawsuit reaffirms the division’s longstanding commitment to protecting its employees and the men and women detained,” said Vernarelli.

The complaint described several cases in which the virus was allowed to spread between inmates and the guards who supervised them.

In one case, a woman new to the facility was held in a cell flanked on either side by cells containing male inmates who had recently tested positive for the virus.

In another case, a male inmate had to stay in the same cell with a cellmate who clearly showed symptoms of infection, including a cough and fever.

The settlement agreement expires 180 days after the Maryland declaration of emergency for the pandemic was lifted.

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