An inmate at Cumberland County Jail who fell ill last week and was quarantined has tested negative for the coronavirus.

The 41-year-old man was participating in a work release program in the jail’s community corrections program, and was working as a mason’s tender, when he returned to the jail from work on March 18 with a fever.

The man was quarantined and the community corrections program that provides the work-release opportunities for inmates was shut down, the sheriff’s office said.

The man was booked into the jail in June 2019 on driving offenses, and was transferred to the community corrections program on March 12.

Along with jails and prisons across the state and country, the Cumberland County Jail has been releasing low-risk inmates as part of its preparations to reduce the risk of coronavirus outbreaks that could spread through the facilities.

Since the coronavirus arrived in Maine, the jail has released inmates to reduce its general population from below 400 people to about 275, according to a list of inmates provided by the jail. The releases were the result of work by the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, the sheriff’s office to identify incarcerated people who might be eligible for modified bail conditions, leading to their release.

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