WASHINGTON

Federal prisons in the U.S. began a 14-day lockdown Wednesday “in response to a growing number of quarantine and isolation cases” caused by the novel coronavirus.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons said the restrictions, which require inmates to stay in assigned quarters or cells, will be effective for at least two weeks and may be extended.

Limited gathering will be allowed during the lockdown to facilitate access to commissaries, laundry facilities, showers, and computer and telephone areas.

“During this time, to the extent practicable, inmates should still have access to programs and services that are offered under normal operating

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