MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Ramsey County judge ruled Wednesday that a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) can proceed against the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MNDOC) over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judge Sara Grewing ruled that all MNDOC inmates could be included in a class-action suit, and that Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm can be added as defendants.

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(credit: CBS)

ACLU-MN alleges that just one-fifth of Minnesota’s approximately 7,600 inmates have been fully vaccinated. Grewing will later decide whether or not MNDOC’s inmate vaccination effort violated state law.

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“At this point in the fight against COVID-19, it is universally accepted that people working and living together are at exponentially heightened risk for contracting COVID-19,” Judge Grewing said.

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MNDOC Commissioner Paul Schnell pledges that all inmates will be vaccinated by April 9.