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Death toll from coronavirus at Chino prison rises to 15 after two more inmates die

Fifteen people have died of coronavirus complications at the California Institution for Men in Chino, officials said.
Fifteen people have died of complications related to the coronavirus at the California Institution for Men in Chino, officials said.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Two inmates from the California Institution for Men in Chino died recently after testing positive for the coronavirus as corrections officials continued to grapple with major outbreaks in the state prison system.

One of the men died Sunday and the other died Monday at a hospital outside the prison. They have not been publicly identified. Though the cause of their deaths has not been finalized, it appears both men died of complications related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The fatalities bring the death toll at the Chino facility to 15. Seventeen people have died within the state prison system since the outbreak began, including one at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and another at the California Institution for Women in Corona.

Jails and prisons, where crowded conditions can make it challenging to maintain the physical distancing that health officials say is vital in stemming the spread of the disease, have proved to be particularly vulnerable to the virus. As of Tuesday morning, 3,219 inmates in the state prison system were confirmed to be infected.

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More than 800 prisoners in Chino have tested positive for the coronavirus. Data released by the state prison system show that 485 people in custody are currently infected, 31 have been released after testing positive, and 270 have recovered.

The men’s prison in Chino, along with Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe, and Avenal State Prison and the California State Prison Corcoran, both in Kings County, account for a sliver of the state prison system’s population but make up the bulk of its confirmed coronavirus cases.

In three weeks, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison has gone from having zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 993, the worst coronavirus outbreak to hit the California prison system to date.

Last week, an inmate at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, which has become the setting for the worst coronavirus outbreak in the California prison system, died from what officials suspect was complications related to COVID-19.

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In the last three weeks, the number of confirmed coronavirus infections at Chuckawalla has risen from zero to nearly 1,000, as of Tuesday. Eleven people have been released after testing positive, according to the state prison system.


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