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Androscoggin County Jail inmates call for COVID-19 safety measures through hunger strike

There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Androscoggin County Jail.
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Androscoggin County Jail.(Gray tv)
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:34 AM EDT
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AUBURN, Maine (WMTW) - Officials at the Androscoggin County Jail say a hunger strike involving about 25 inmates has been resolved.

Jail administrator Jeffrey Chute said the inmates refused meals from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition, a nonprofit working to improve conditions for incarcerated Mainers, the central issue for inmates was testing for COVID-19.

Joseph Jackson, the group’s director, says some inmates feared a lack of social distancing in housing units, lax mask wearing and infrequent tests for the virus could lead to an outbreak similar to what happened at the York County Jail where more than 80 people became infected.

There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Androscoggin County Jail.

Chute says the issue is now resolved and the jail is working with the CDC to offer enhanced testing of inmates.

Chute said the strike resulted from a lack of communication and said that any inmate could have received a COVID-19 test by asking for one.

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