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Fourth Alabama inmate dies with COVID-19, 13 others from same prison test positive

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A fourth person serving in an Alabama prison has died after testing positive for COVID-19, and 13 other inmates housed in an infirmary with the man have also since tested positive for the virus, the Alabama Department of Corrections announced Monday. 

Robert Stewart, 80, who was serving at Staton Correctional Facility died at a local hospital on Sunday, according to the department. Stewart, who had chronic health problems, was taken to the hospital after showing symptoms of coronavirus and tested positive on June 10.

The exact cause of death is pending an autopsy, according to ADOC. 

The day after Stewart’s positive test results came back, ADOC decided to test every inmate housed in Staton’s infirmary “due to their direct exposure to previously reported inmate and employee positive cases.” 

Of those tested, 13 tested positive for the virus and are currently isolated from other inmates, and the entire infirmary has been placed on level-three quarantine, meaning those inmates are to remain there for all daily activities. 

“Medical care unrelated to COVID-19 is being provided to inmates at an alternate location within the facility. Necessary medical equipment has been moved out of the infirmary and appropriately sanitized,” the department said in the release. 

Of the 41 cases among inmates statewide, 20 remain active, ADOC said. Of the state’s approximately 22,000 inmates, 256 have been tested as of Monday. 

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In addition to the new cases among inmates, there are three new cases among staff members. A worker at the Bibb Correctional Facility, one at the Staton Correctional Facility  and an employee at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women all self-reported positive test results, according to ADOC. 

Thirty-two of the 90 cases among prison staff statewide remain active, according to the department. 

On Monday there were 16 cases of COVID-19 among staff, and 14 cases among inmates, at Staton Correctional Facility. The Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women followed closely behind, with 26 cases among workers and 3 infected women serving there.

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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