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Nevada federal prisoner alleges pandemic mishandled behind bars

A federal prisoner in Nevada has alleged in a civil rights lawsuit that jailers have mishandled a coronavirus outbreak at a detention facility in Pahrump.

John David Nagel alleged in the complaint filed last week that he was transferred to the Nevada Southern Detention Center in early May from Anchorage, Alaska, and quarantined for eight days, instead of 14 days recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nagel alleged that inmates were not socially distanced, properly screened for COVID-19 or provided adequate amounts of soap.

According to the Bureau of Prisons website, 3,112 federal inmates and 259 staff have tested positive COVID-19 nationwide.

The suit alleged that Nagel became sick on June 13 and asked repeatedly to be tested for COVID-19, but received no test or “a response to his inquiries.” He alleged that on June 19, he spoke to a nurse who told him “there was nothing they could do, especially since he didn’t have a fever.”

Amanda Gilchrist, a spokeswoman for CoreCivic, the private company that runs the facility, said the complaint had not been served as of late Monday.

“We have rigorously followed the guidance of local, state and federal health authorities, as well as our government partners,” Gilchrist wrote in an email. “We have responded to this unprecedented situation appropriately, thoroughly and with care for the safety and well-being of those entrusted to us and our communities.”

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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