Calif. to move 2,600 inmates vulnerable to fungus 

click to enlarge Correction Officer Sammy Oroz watches inmates from the Level 2 Facility at the Department of Corrections move and organize item at the State's Surplus Property Bureau, in Santa Fe, Thursday, June 6, 2013. - AP PHOTO/ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, EDDIE MOORE
  • AP Photo/Albuquerque Journal, Eddie Moore
  • Correction Officer Sammy Oroz watches inmates from the Level 2 Facility at the Department of Corrections move and organize item at the State's Surplus Property Bureau, in Santa Fe, Thursday, June 6, 2013.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- State corrections officials say they will comply with a federal court order to move thousands of inmates out of two Central Valley prisons where an airborne fungus has led to widespread illnesses.

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it is not yet clear where the 2,600 inmates will go.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson last week ordered the transfer of most black, Filipino and medically at-risk inmates from Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons because those groups are more vulnerable to the naturally occurring fungal infection that causes valley fever.

Hoffman says officials could also seek an extension if they cannot completely comply within Henderson's 90-day deadline.

Transferring less vulnerable inmates into the two prisons could set up its own challenges.

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