A 13th inmate died Tuesday from complications related to COVID-19, the fifth incarcerated man to die from the disease this month.
The 69-year-old inmate was not eligible for parole until April, according to the state Department of Correction. He was serving a 12-year sentence for a first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child conviction.
He was brought to an outside hospital on Dec. 15 where he died Tuesday morning, DOC officials said.
“I would be lying if I said hearing this bad news was not disheartening, but it only strengthens my resolve to continue the agency’s fight to combat the spread of this virus,” DOC Commissioner Designee Angel Quiros said. “My condolences go out to his family.”
The man’s death comes as the agency, the state, and the nation grapple with the height of the second wave of the pandemic, DOC officials said.
The agency announced that another 69-year-old inmate died Monday of COVID-19-related causes. He was serving a 30-year sentence. A 47-year-old inmate who had been cleared for furlough died Thursday. Two other inmates died earlier in the month.
As of Tuesday, there were 227 symptomatic inmates and another 204 who tested positive for the virus but were asymptomatic, according to the DOC website. As of Friday, 2,553 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus pandemic began impacting the state in March.
As for staff, as of Monday, 274 staff members of the agency’s 6,000 employees were out with either asymptomatic or symptomatic cases of COVID-19, said agency spokeswoman Karen Martucci.