BISMARCK — North Dakota has approved early release dates for state prisoners due to mitigating the coronavirus, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday, May 12.

The state parole board has approved the release of 119 inmates from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in the past two months as prisons take precautionary measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, DOCR spokeswoman Kayli Richards said in an email. That included 63 inmates from the regular meeting last month.

The parole board called a special meeting on March 20 to approve the release of 56 inmates as part of mitigation efforts. The inmates are expected to be released before May 31, Richards said.

The DOCR has taken measures to prevent the virus from coming into its facilities, including limiting the number of inmates it has booked into state prisons, ceasing in-person visitation and making space to separate sick inmates from healthy ones.

Gov. Doug Burgum has praised the DOCR for its efforts, noting state prisons in North Dakota have not had any positive cases of coronavirus.