ctnewsjunkie file photo
A vacant wing at Osborn (ctnewsjunkie file photo)

A 45-year-old man in Correction Department custody died Wednesday from complications related to COVID-19, the department announced in a press release.

The man, whose name was withheld, had been an inmate at Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers. He was the eighth Connecticut inmate to die from the virus since the pandemic began and the first COVID-related death in the department since May.

“This is a sobering reminder that we cannot let our guard down when it comes to the coronavirus. We will continue to take the necessary precautions to limit its spread within our facilities,” Acting Correction Commissioner Angel Quiros said in the statement.

According to the department, the man was about two years into a three-year sentence for second-degree strangulation and third-degree burglary. He was not eligible for parole until next May. He had been admitted at a local hospital for about a month before he died. 

“My condolences go out to his family and loved ones,” Quiros said.

The DOC currently oversees an incarcerated population of just under 9,300 inmates. According to the press release, the offender population has about a 1% positivity rate with 20 inmates who are experiencing symptoms and are being housed in medical isolation at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution.

Meanwhile, 116 department staff members were recovering from the virus, according to statistics reported by the agency on Nov. 6.

The announcement comes as coronavirus cases spike around Connecticut and the rest of the country. In separate press releases, Gov. Ned Lamont’s office reported that 13 residents died from the virus since Tuesday and 2,042 additional people tested positive in the state. One of those new cases was a member of Lamont’s security detail who is now self-quarantining.

The announcement marks the second case in the governor’s staff in less than a week. On Friday, the administration announced that his communications director, Max Reiss, had tested positive. Lamont, who has received negative test results for the virus, has been in quarantine since Friday.