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Prison Outbreak? Santa Barbara County Argues It Shouldn't Interfere With Reopening

Santa Barbara County excluded COVID-19 cases among prisoners at Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex so it could meet California's requirements for reopening. (Courtesy Federal Bureau of Prisons)
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Santa Barbara County is known for its vineyards and stunning ocean views. It's also home to the Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex, which has one of the country's largest COVID-19 outbreaks in a prison. Nearly 1,000 prisoners have tested positive. Two have died.

California's governor had set clear requirements for counties to emerge from lockdown. The prison outbreak made it hard for the county to meet those standards. So local officials proposed a solution: Don't count the prisoners.

Suzanne Grimmesey, a county spokeswoman, said:

"The individuals in the Lompoc prison are not out in the community, so it's really a whole separate population."

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