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US prisons shut down over spike in COVID-19 cases

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Local and state prisons in the United States have started shutting down and transferring inmates following an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

The decision, according to officials in officials in the country’s justice system, was part of measures to halt the increase in the COVID-19 cases with many prison officials infected by the virus and can no longer perform their duties.

From California to Missouri to Pennsylvania, state and local officials said many guards had fallen ill with the virus and are unable to work.

READ ALSO: US demands negative COVID-19 tests from all UK travelers over new virus strain

According to data released by health workers, 480,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,100 deaths had been recorded among inmates and guards in prisons, jails and detention centres across the country.

Also 100,000 correctional officers had tested positive for COVID-19 and 170 had died.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US topped 20 million on Friday as the discovery of a highly contagious new virus strain in the country has increased pressure to speed up the vaccination process.

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