2nd inmate at Faribault prison dies after positive COVID-19 test

More than 200 inmates at the prison have tested positive.
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A second inmate from the prison in Faribault, Minnesota, has died after being diagnosed with COVID-19. 

The 71-year-old iname, identified as Leroy Wallace Bergstrom, died Saturday morning – seventeen days after testing positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. 

Bergstrom is the second inmate from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault to die after testing positive. Earlier in the week, a 43-year-old died 19 days after testing positive for the virus. 

Bergstrom was diagnosed with the disease on June 10 and had been hospitalized in critical condition since June 16. 

“On behalf of the Department of Corrections and the State of Minnesota, I extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. Bergstrom’s family, loved ones, and friends,” Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell said. 

“While the department’s longstanding focus has been on public safety and rehabilitation, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a focus on public health as well. Mr. Bergstrom’s death reminds us of the lethality of this virus, and the need for all of us to make sure we’re taking appropriate precautions to prevent spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”

Prisons are among types of congregate living facilities in which COVID-19 is known to spread rapidly due to the close living quarters. State prisons in Faribault, Moose Lake, Willow River, St. Cloud and Lino Lakes have also experienced disease outbreaks among inmates and staff.

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At Faribault, 206 inmates have tested positive since June 3. The DOC says the majority of the positive cases involve patients without symptoms, though Keys and two others were hospitalized, with the other two still in the hospital, including one man in critical condition.

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