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The state corrections agency has implemented mandatory testing of all employees at the California Institution for Men in Chino as the number of inmates who have died after contracting COVID-19 there has risen to nine and the total number of inmates testing positive has grown to 635.

The decision to test all employees followed a weekend during which three more inmates who were hospitalized with COVID-19 died. So far, 58 staff members at the prison have tested positive, with 35 of them recovering and returning to work. Under the new program, any employee who has not tested positive for the virus will be tested. According to an information sheet given to employees, anyone not complying would face disciplinary action.

The prison has been the source of all the coronavirus-related deaths in California state prisons and more than half the total number of inmates testing positive in the California correctional system.

State officials did not identify the three inmates who died over the weekend after being hospitalized.

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