The Minnesota Department of Corrections reported today two more deaths from COVID-19 for incarcerated people in the state's prison system.  In a news release it's stated on December 10, 2020 a 66 year old man incarcerated at MCF-Faribault and a 63 year old man incarcerated at MCF-Moose Lake died at Abbot Northwester Hospital in Minneapolis.  Both had recently been diagnosed wityh COVID-19.

The identities of the men are being withheld pending full notification of relatives.

The Department of Health has a policy of revealing no identities of COVID-19 patients, living or deceased.

In the news release Commissioner Paul Schnell is quoted, "This has been a difficult day for the Department of Corrections.  We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these men.  We continue to do everything in our power to mitigate and contain the spread of COVID in our facilities."

The news release goes on to say:  "Minnesota has the 4th lowest incarceration rate in the nation, yet, based on available data, is 4th highest in the number of COVID tests (77,467) performed to date, including large states like California and Texas."

"These are the seventh and eighth COVID-related deaths of incarcerated people in the Minnesota DOC system since the pandemic began.  It is the fourth death from MCF-Faribault and the first death from MCF-Moose Lake."

"Faribault currently has 621 COVID-positive incarcerated people, and 54 COVID-positive staff.  Moose Lake currently has 45 COVID-positive incarcerated people, and 20 COVID-positive staff."

"There are 1,783 people currently incarcerated at MCF-Faribault and 929 at MCF-Moose Lake."

Three other incarcerated people department-wide are currently in critical condition and receiving ventilator treatment at outside hospitals.  Several DOC staff members are also currently hospitalized due to COVID."

The news release concludes:  "The DOC has conducted comprehensive testing of all incarcerated people and staff in our facilities, and taken measures across the system to manage the risk of COVID-19 entering facilities and spreading, including: implementing 'Stay with Unit' plans.  Enacting mandatory barrier mask policies, and installing handwashing stations."

"Each facility has also taken a number of steps specific to their unique environment.

Those plans can be viewed here: Facility Specific COVID-19 Responses.


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