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3 more Wisconsin prisoners die from COVID-19, DOC reports

3 more Wisconsin prisoners die from COVID-19, DOC reports

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Guarding prison

Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun.

Three more Wisconsin prisoners have died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed coronavirus-related inmate deaths in the state prison system up to 14, the state Department of Corrections reported Wednesday.

DOC also reported 205 new COVID-19 infections among inmates Wednesday, which brings the total cases since the pandemic began up to 8,668 and active cases up to 897 across all prison facilities.

Wisconsin DOC releases data on COVID-19-related inmate deaths for first time; 5 are dead

Prisoner deaths are recorded by DOC as COVID-19-related if a local medical examiner or coroner confirms that the virus was an underlying cause of death or a significant condition that contributed to death.

More prisoners may have died from COVID-19, but they won’t be added to DOC’s data dashboard until the medical examiner confirms it.

Also not included in DOC’s death total are inmates who may have died in county jail facilities, which are not run by the Department of Corrections.

DOC does not reveal the state prisons where the deaths occurred nor any demographic information about those who have died because of privacy concerns.

The State Journal has independently confirmed where four COVID-19 deaths occurred: Two were at Dodge Correctional Institution, one at Green Bay Correctional Institution and another at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution.

While case numbers are still increasing each day, they’re growing at a slower rate than in recent weeks, with the most alarming spike occurring on Nov. 16, when DOC added 808 new cases to its data dashboard after a weekend of outbreaks ballooning.

Wednesday was the first time since Oct. 24 that the active case count dipped below 1,000. But several prisons still had major outbreaks.

Those with active outbreaks included Dodge Correctional Institution with 211 active COVID-19 cases among inmates, Fox Lake Correctional Institution with 114, Racine Correctional Institution/Sturtevant Transitional Facility with 112, Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution with 107, Taycheedah Correctional Institution with 71 and Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility with 67.

A total of 24 facilities have active cases among inmates.

Among staff, 1,856 DOC employees have self-reported testing positive for COVID-19 with 175 of those cases active as of Wednesday.

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