PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia-based rapper Meek Mill’s criminal justice reform group is donating 100,000 face masks to some of the nation’s most notorious jails and prisons.
The celebrity-backed REFORM Alliance announced the donation Friday. It said 50,000 masks will go to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City, 40,000 will be sent to the Tennessee Department of Correction, and 5,000 are headed to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
FULL COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS
The group, whose founding members include Jay-Z, has been pressing the nation’s jails and prisons to thin their inmate populations, improve sanitation, protect prison workers and take other precautions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Hundreds of inmates and staff at U.S. correctional facilities have tested positive for the virus. Health experts say people inside prisons and jails are at heightened risk because of tight inmate quarters, a lack of sanitation and substandard medical care.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported more than 1,400 additional people tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number to over 8,420. There were 12 new deaths for a statewide toll of 102.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
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