First federal inmate tests positive for coronavirus

An inmate jailed in New York City’s Metropolitan Detention Center has tested positive for the pandemic COVID-19 — marking the first coronavirus case of a detainee in the federal prison system.

The inmate remains in isolation at the federal jail in Brooklyn following the confirmed case, the US Bureau of Prisons reported on its website Saturday.

Authorities took the inmate to a local hospital after complaining of chest pains on Thursday when he was tested for the bug, according to the Associated Press, which first reported the case.

A spokesperson for the BOP did not immediately respond for comment.

Over the last week, the federal prison system has tried to prevent the spread of the virus in its 122 facilities by suspending inmate visits and limiting prisoner transfers.

Two federal prison staffers — one in Grand Prairie, TX, and another Leavenworth, KS — were confirmed to have contracted the virus on Friday, according to the BOP.

Neither had any contact with inmates, according to the BOP.

The news of the coronavirus case inside the federal prison system comes as civil rights groups warn of the unsafe “breeding ground for infectious disease.”

On Friday, the Legal Aid Society sued the Department of Corrections for the release of more than 100 inmates awaiting state trials.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has said it will release a few dozen inmates who are most vulnerable to the bug from city jails.

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