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Report: Inmate’s death involved COVID-19 complications

CHARLESTON — Autopsy results show the July death of an inmate at the Mount Olive Correctional Complex from an underlying health condition also involved complications from the COVID-19 virus, the state of West Virginia reported on Wednesday.

Also, a more recent death of an inmate at Mount Olive is considered possibly related to the virus, the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, part of the Department of Homeland Security, said.

A 73-year-old male inmate who died July 17 in the prison’s infirmary had previously tested negative, but lab results received after his death came back positive for the virus. At the time, his death was attributed to his underlying health condition.

The death certificate from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, received Tuesday and based on autopsy results, lists COVID-19 as a complicating factor.

The other Mount Olive inmate, a 54-year-old man, died Sunday at an outside hospital. The inmate had an underlying medical condition, the division said.

He was hospitalized shortly after his COVID-19 test came back positive in late August. The hospital’s preliminary assessment, received Tuesday, attributes the cause to COVID-19. The Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is awaiting the medical examiner’s findings.

The division’s only other reported COVID-related inmate death occurred Aug. 28, a 40-year-old man from the South Central Regional Jail who died while at an outside hospital. He had underlying medical conditions and health officials attributed the cause to complications from COVID-19, the division said.

The division has been in communication with state and local health officials regarding these cases and posts daily testing updates on the Correctional Facilities page at coronavirus.wv.gov.

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