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Connecticut prison system reports its ninth inmate COVID-19 death

A 44-year-old inmate died from complications due to COVID-19 on Friday, the ninth person in a correctional institution to die since the onset of the pandemic.

The man, who according to a Department of Correction press release had several underlying medical conditions, was transferred from the Medical Isolation Unit at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution to an outside hospital on Friday and later succumbed to his illness. His name was not released due to medical privacy laws.

The man was being held at Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers before he was transferred to the DOC’s Medical Isolation Unit. Eight of the nine incarcerated people who have died from the virus have been held at Osborn.

He last entered the state correctional system in June 2002 and was serving a 27-year sentence for four counts of first-degree sexual assault.

"This is a solemn reminder that we must continue to do everything under our power to limit the spread of this persistent virus," Commissioner Designate Angel Quiros said in the news release. He added that we cannot "ease up on our efforts."

“My condolences go out to his family,” he said.

The death comes one day after Gov. Ned Lamont announced that people being held in the state’s prisons and jails would be among the groups eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning in January. Currently 158 corrections staff are recovering from the virus, as are 97 inmates who have the virus and are showing symptoms; a total of 198 incarcerated people have tested positive and are asymptomatic.

Kelan Lyons is a Report For America Corps Member who covers the intersection of mental health and criminal justice for The Connecticut Mirror (www.ctmirror.org). Copyright 2020 © The Connecticut Mirror.

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