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Locked up: No masks, sanitizer as virus spreads behind bars

Posted at 7:36 AM, Mar 29, 2020

Health experts say prisons and jails are considered a potential epicenter for America’s coronavirus pandemic.

They are little cities hidden behind tall fences where many people share cells, sit elbow-to-elbow at dining areas and are herded through halls to the yard or prison industry jobs.

They say that it’s all but nearly impossible to keep 6 feet away from anyone.

Medical services behind bars have long been substandard and even hand sanitizer is considered contraband in some facilities because of its alcohol content.

The Bureau of Prisons said Saturday the first federal inmate had died of coronavirus.

Officials said Patrick Jones had been housed at FCI Oakdale I, a prison in Louisiana and had “long-term, pre-existing medical conditions."