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Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.

Among the hundreds of COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota over the past few days was an inmate at a prison in east-central Minnesota. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), a 57-year-old inmate who was recently diagnosed with COVID-19 died at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul on Saturday. 

The man had been incarcerated at the state correctional facility in Rush City, which houses 1,000 men in a high-security setting. His full identity has not been released, pending notification of family members. 

The man's death marks the fifth fatal COVID-19 case of an incarcerated individual in Minnesota. At the Rush City prison, there are currently 49 incarcerated people with COVID-19, in addition to 21 staff who have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Two of the 49 inmates with COVID-19 are in critical condition and receiving ventilator treatment at outside hospitals, according to the DOC, in addition to several staff members currently being cared for in a hospital. 

“We extend our condolences to the family and friends of this man,” said DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell, in a release. “The level of community spread of COVID-19 makes our extensive efforts to minimize the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the state’s correctional facilities that much more challenging. We are committed to continuing our aggressive testing and spread mitigation efforts as we closely monitor the health status and medical needs of those who contract this virus,” Schnell added.

The Minnesota Department of Health has reported 1,125 deaths from COVID-19 in November, making it by far the deadliest month since the start of the pandemic. There were 102 fatal cases reported over the weekend after a single-day record 101 deaths were reported Friday. 

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