A 47-year-old incarcerated man died from COVID-19 on Thursday, the 11th inmate to die from the virus since the onset of the pandemic.

The Department of Correction announced the death in a press release Friday night but did not release his name, citing medical privacy laws.  The department did say, however, that he’d been serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence on a sale of narcotics charge and had been approved for a reentry furlough prior to his death, meaning his release may have been imminent.

The man had been transferred to a hospital from the DOC’s medical isolation unit at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution on Nov. 28.

He is the fourth incarcerated person to die from coronavirus complications since Nov. 18.

COVID cases have spiked in correctional facilities in recent weeks. As of Dec. 18 almost 250 inmates had contracted the virus and were showing symptoms; 266 inmates had the virus but were asymptomatic, with clusters of cases at Osborn, York, Cheshire, Garner and MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institutions; there were also 11 cases at Hartford Correctional Center.

Sixteen incarcerated people are currently receiving care in a hospital.

There were 9,220 people in state correctional facilities as of Dec. 18.

“It’s never easy to lose a loved one, but it is even harder when the loss comes around the holidays. My sincere condolences go out to his family,” said Commissioner Designate Angel Quiros. “I am committed to continuing the fight against the spread of this virus in any way I can.”

Kelan is a Report For America Corps Member who covers the intersection of mental health and criminal justice for CT Mirror. Before joining CT Mirror, Kelan was a staff writer for City Weekly, an alt weekly in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a courts reporter for The Bryan-College Station Eagle, in Texas. He is originally from Philadelphia.

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