8th prisoner dies of COVID-19 in Harris Co. Jail

CONTRIBUTED REPORT
Posted 3/3/21

A man has died after testing positive for COVID-19 inside the Harris County Jail.The man was in his late-60s and had been hospitalized since Feb. 14 with COVID-19 and other underlying medical …

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8th prisoner dies of COVID-19 in Harris Co. Jail

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A man has died after testing positive for COVID-19 inside the Harris County Jail.

The man was in his late-60s and had been hospitalized since Feb. 14 with COVID-19 and other underlying medical conditions. He died on the evening of Tuesday, March 2. His is the eighth COVID-19 related death of a person in custody of the state’s largest county jail, and the first death since October 2020. The man's name and other identifying information are being withheld in accordance with HIPAA privacy rules. He had been in jail since his December arrest on a motion to revoke a parole warrant.

The COVID-19 death rate in the jail is about the same as the county’s overall COVID-19 death rate among all residents. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has worked to manage the virus’ outbreak in the jail by administering 28,721 COVID-19 tests so far, implementing stringent quarantine and sanitation procedures, and providing masks to all staff and jail residents. To date, 2,819 people housed in the jail have tested positive for the virus. There are currently 58 people suffering from active COVID-19 infections, and three are hospitalized. Jail medical staff began administering vaccines to people in the jail when supplies became available last month and approximately 1,500 have received at least their first shot.

The Sheriff’s Office is notifying the Texas Commission on Jail Standards about the man’s death, and an independent investigation into his death is being conducted by the Texas Rangers in accordance with state law.

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