Bloomberg Law
Jan. 12, 2021, 4:12 PM

Judge to Weigh Risk of Mass Release of Psychiatric Patients

Valerie Bauman
Valerie Bauman
Senior Investigative Reporter

A federal judge Tuesday will consider whether to release hundreds of patients from California’s largest psychiatric hospital due to soaring Covid-19 rates, a move state health officials say would put the public at risk.

Lawyers for patients of Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino used the state’s own words against it in a court filing last week to argue for the release, quoting a separate case in which a California Department of State Hospitals official said the state’s psychiatric facilities have “exquisite and unique vulnerabilities” when it comes to the virus.

“Even simple public health measures like social distancing, cough ...

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