MOOSE LAKE (AP) -- A judge has ordered the Minnesota Department of Corrections to show that it is protecting inmates at the Moose Lake prison from COVID-19.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a lawsuit in April alleging the Corrections Department and the Moose Lake prison have failed to implement sufficient measures to slow or stop the spread of the coronavirus. The organization argues the prison in northeastern Minnesota not fulfilling its duty to keep people in custody safe.

Carlton County Judge Leslie Beiers ordered the Corrections Department to respond to the allegations by May 11.

The department contends it has taken the necessary steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the state's correctional facilities.

As of Wednesday, 33 inmates at Moose Lake had tested positive for COVID-19. Another 31 were presumed to have the disease, and 30 staff members also have tested positive.

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