Court hearings, visitations halted as virus spreads to more than 200 federal inmates in downtown L.A.

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The Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles is seen on July 14, 2019. (David McNew / Getty Images)

The Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles is seen on July 14, 2019. (David McNew / Getty Images)

A coronavirus outbreak at a federal detention center in downtown Los Angeles has left more than 200 inmates infected and forced prison officials to cancel detainees’ court appearances as part of a lockdown of the facility.

The number of inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center who have tested positive for the virus increased to 209 Monday, despite a decision last week by the prison’s warden to impose strict limits on inmates’ movements and conduct more extensive testing.

In addition to the inmates, two members of the prison staff have also contracted the virus, according to the Bureau of Prisons data.

In a letter last week, Warden W.Z. Jenkins II alerted U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez and U.S. Magistrate Paul Abrams to the swift spread of the virus, which has infected more than a third of the 550 inmates, most of whom are housed at the facility while their court proceedings are underway.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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