A COVID-19-positive inmate of Coffeewood Correctional Center has died, according to reporting on Wednesday from the Virginia Department of Corrections.
This was the first COVID-19-related death reported in the state prison, located in Mitchells.
The 57-year-old prisoner died about 2:40 p.m. Monday at Culpeper Medical Center, according to DOC spokesman Greg Carter.
The man was of Asian or Pacific Islander descent and was serving a two-year, eight-month sentence for eluding/endangering law enforcement, unauthorized use of an animal/vehicle, etc., larceny and driving on a suspended license, Carter said.
The Coffeewood outbreak, first reported in mid-October, now spans 206 inmates (of 889 average daily population) currently positive for the novel coronavirus, one in the hospital and the one death.
As of Wednesday, there were 27 staff members positive with the virus.
The Virginia Department of Corrections continues to aggressively test inmates and staff for COVID-19 and has taken steps toward soon being able to acquire test results in minutes as opposed to days, according to a recent agency news release.
DOC recently began weekly testing of infirmary staff to better ensure the safety of inmates and staff in this vulnerable setting. The entire staff at facilities with infirmaries can be tested weekly if necessary.
“We have been at the testing forefront throughout the pandemic, thanks to the tireless work of our medical directors and staff and our partners around the state,” said VADOC Director Harold Clarke. “With the new weekly testing at four facilities that have infirmaries and the upcoming antigen testing, we continue to do everything we can to fight the spread of this relentless pandemic.”
To date, VADOC has administered more than 50,000 inmate tests for COVID-19 on-site in facilities across the state, working closely with the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia National Guard, Armor Correctional Health Services, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia, the release stated.
Offenders testing positive are placed in medical isolation so they don’t infect others, according to DOC. The prison facilities can provide many things, including oxygen, on-site. If an inmate requires an inpatient level of care, the inmate goes to a hospital, the release stated.
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