450 tests positive for coronavirus at Chicago’s largest jail

Some 450 inmates and staff have tested positive for coronavirus at Chicago’s largest jail, county corrections officials said on Thursday, representing one of the nation’s largest outbreaks of the respiratory illness at a single site so far in the pandemic.

The surge of cases at Cook County Jail marks the latest flare-up of COVID-19 at jails and prisons in major cities across the United States, where detainees often live in close quarters.

The situation gained national attention earlier this week when inmates posted handmade signs pleading for help in the windows of their cells overlooking a public street.

“Sheriff’s officers and county medical professionals are aggressively working round-the-clock to combat the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic,” the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said in a written statement on Thursday.

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