California prisons fight virus outbreaks amid staff concerns

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In this July 9, 2020, file photo, a correctional officer closes the main gate at San Quentin State Penitentiary in San Quentin. Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration is fighting a federal judge's order that all California prison workers must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or have a religious or medical exemption. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
Don Thompson The Associated Press SACRAMENTO – With a new and more infectious coronavirus variant sweeping California, attorneys representing inmates say violations of health orders by prison staff risk a repeat of the outbreaks that killed dozens in the first year of the pandemic. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration is fighting a federal judge’s order that all California prison workers must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or have a religious or medical exemption. The administration argues in part that frequent testing can help limit the virus’s spread. But large percentages of employees who are required to be tested twice weekly aren’t doing so, “and most of those workers face no consequences,” inmates’ attorneys said in a recent court filing, citing figu
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