Faribault prison inmate dies 19 days after testing positive for COVID-19

It's the first prison death due to COVID-19 in Minnesota.

Adrian Raymaar Keys

A 43-year-old prison inmate of the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault has died 19 days after testing positive for COVID-19. 

An official cause of death hasn't been formalized, but if COVID-19 is the cause, 43-year-old Adrian Raymaar Keys, of St. Paul, will be the first Minnesota inmate to die from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

According to the Department of Corrections (DOC), Keys tested positive June 4. Sixteen days later, over the weekend of June 20, Keys' condition worsened and he was hospitalized on June 22. He died at the hospital around 9:45 p.m. the next day, June 23. 

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Keys,” DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell said. “Since the start of the pandemic we’ve worked to take all reasonable steps to minimize the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the state’s correctional facilities for the well-being of those we serve and our staff.”

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, more than 200 cases have been diagnosed 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. 

The DOC has conducted 9,704 tests on incarcerated men, women, and youth statewide, in addition to 2,685 tests on staff. 

Four staff members have been hospitalized related to COVID-19. All staff members hospitalized have since been released.

As of June 25, the DOC had a population of 7,962 in the state’s prisons. That's down from the approximately 8,900 incarcerated individuals on Mar. 1. 

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