A 37-year-old man in state custody died from complications related to the COVID-19 virus Sunday at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, according to a Monday press release. 

The man, whose name was not released due to privacy laws, was being held on a $1.5 million bond as he awaited trial on a murder charge. He had been in state custody since September 2019 and had been held at MacDougall-Walker’s medical isolation unit since Jan. 4, according to the press release. 

Monday’s announcement marks the fifth death of an incarcerated person in Connecticut this month and comes as a surge of COVID cases affecting both staff and inmates in the prison system begins to subside. 

On Jan. 10, the DOC was considering asking retirees to fill vacancies as more than 1,000 staff members were out with COVID-19. On Monday, the number of staff members listed as recovering from the virus had dropped to 418. 

“The Department of Correction continues its ongoing efforts to reduce the risk and combat the spread of the virus,” the press release read. “Some of these efforts include: separating new inmates from others to prevent new inmates from introducing COVID-19, isolating inmates who test positive for COVID-19, vaccinating all inmates willing to be vaccinated, educational efforts to reduce vaccine hesitancy, and regularly testing inmates and staff.”