9th inmate at state prison in Chino dies of apparent COVID-19 complications

Local News

Three more inmates at a state prison in Chino have died of apparent complications from COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing that facility’s total to nine, officials announced Sunday.

An inmate who had been incarcerated at the California Institution for Men died at a hospital from what appear to be complications of the coronavirus on Saturday, and another two died Sunday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The exact causes have not yet been determined.

The agency did not release their names for “medical privacy” but said that their next of kin have been notified.

CDCR also has not publicly disclosed the names and other details about the six other inmates believed to have died due to the coronavirus before this weekend.

The department announced the first death linked to COVID-19 in the San Bernardino County facility on April 19. Three more people died on May 6 and 7, another on May 9, and a sixth person on May 18, according to CDCR.

The Chino prison currently holds 457 inmates who have tested positive for the virus, CDCR said Sunday. The location has confirmed at least 630 positive cases since CDCR began tracking COVID-19.

With 3,317 inmates, the facility was housing about 111.5% of its capacity, the San Bernardino Sun reported. Family members of inmates protested outside the prison on Saturday, according to the paper.

None of the 34 other facilities operated by CDCR has reported any COVID-19 deaths, per the agency’s website on Sunday. But hundreds of positive cases have been confirmed, mostly in the California State Prison in Lancaster, California Institution for Women in Corona, and the Avenal State Prison in Kings County.

Federal prisons in California have reported coronavirus outbreaks as well.

The latest count by the Federal Bureau of Prisons shows two inmate deaths at USP Lompoc in Santa Barbara County and eight inmate deaths at Terminal Island in San Pedro.

In late April, the federal prison in San Pedro said about half of its 1,055 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus.

Much of California’s COVID-19 cases have occurred in institutional settings, where infectious diseases can easily spread among people living in close quarters.

Authorities have announced various measures to combat the coronavirus, such as limiting inmate visits. But in two class-action lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, advocates claim officials in Lompoc and San Pedro have mishandled the outbreak.

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