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Inmate at overcrowded Kilby Prison tests positive for COVID-19

An inmate at the Kilby Correctional Facility in Montgomery has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the ninth state inmate with a confirmed case of the virus. 

The inmate was exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and was admitted to a local hospital, where he tested positive for COVID-19, the Alabama Department of Corrections said in a statement late Friday. The man also has preexisting health conditions, ADOC said. 

Two dorms at Kilby prison were placed on level-one quarantine, which means inmates will be monitored for symptoms and have temperature checks twice daily, ADOC said. 

“In addition, meals will be scheduled in groups and separate from other dorms. Appropriate measures will be taken should an inmate become symptomatic in accordance with CDC guidelines for COVID-19,” the statement reads. 

Kilby prison was at 329 percent occupancy in January, the last month for which ADOC’s monthly reports were available. That month there were 1,449 inmates in a facility designed for 440.

In addition to the nine inmates in seven facilities who have tested positive for the virus, 17 ADOC staff members at 11 prisons, including one at Kilby prison, have also tested positive for coronavirus. 

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Three of the nine inmates with confirmed cases have recovered, as have five of the 17 prison workers, according to ADOC. 

Dave Thomas, 66, a terminally ill man serving at St. Clair Correctional Facility, died April 16 after testing positive for coronavirus.

Arthur Ahmed, 69, an inmate at St. Clair prison, where three inmates and one staff member have tested positive for the virus, died on May 6, becoming the third inmate to die in an Alabama prison of an unstated cause in less than two weeks.

ADOC declined to say whether Ahmed had been tested for COVID-19 after his death, but in a statement to APR said that no foul play is suspected at this time, and Ahmed had not been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his death. 

“While Ahmed’s exact cause of death is pending the results of a full autopsy, at the time of his passing inmate Ahmed was not exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, was not under quarantine following direct exposure to an inmate or staff member who previously had tested positive, and was not in medical isolation as a result of a positive COVID-19 test,” department spokesperson Samantha Rose said in a statement.

Richard Jason Reed, 35, of Etowah County died May 2 at the Bullock County prison, ADOC confirmed in a message to APR on Monday afternoon. 

Alvin Daniels, 68, died on April 25 at the Limestone prison and although no foul play is suspected, his exact cause of death is also pending an autopsy, Rose told APR on April 28.

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As of Friday evening, 110 out of the state’s approximately 22,000 inmates had been tested for COVID-19.

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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