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Iowa prison worker becomes first staff member to die with COVID-19

Department of Corrections Web

MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa (KWWL) -- A staff member with COVID-19 at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women has died, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections.

The department announced on its website that the employee died on Monday, becoming the first COVID-19-related death among workers at Iowa's state prisons. No other information about the staffer has been released. The Iowa Correctional Institution for Women is located in Polk County.

As of Thursday evening, eight prisoners across the state have died from COVID-19 complications. The Department of Corrections reported its eighth death, an inmate from the Anamosa State Penitentiary, on Tuesday. Robert Sirovy is the fourth inmate to die from COVID-19 complications this month.

Three inmates from Anamosa and three from the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility have died from COVID-19 complications. One inmate each at the Clarinda Correctional Facility and the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville have died after contracting the virus.

Statewide, at least 3,033 inmates and 443 prison staff members have come down with the virus as of Thursday evening. An overwhelming majority of those cases have occurred over the last few weeks, according to data tracked by The Marshall Project.

The Marshall Project also reported that Iowa prisons recorded the third-most new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., trailing only Texas and the federal prison system. The Marshall Project's data also shows as of Thursday evening, that Iowa has the fourth-most cases per 10,000 prisoners, trailing only Kansas, Arkansas, and South Dakota. Governor Kim Reynolds said during a Tuesday news conference that conditions were getting better at Iowa's prisons.

As of Thursday evening, at least 196,619 cases have been reported among prisoners across the U.S. and at least 45,471 prison staff members have tested positive. At least 139,107 prisoners and 26,163 staffers have recovered. At least 1,452 prisoners and 98 workers have died from COVID-19-related complications

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

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