MCI-Norfolk prisoner in his 80s dies of COVID-19
Inmate had previously tested negative early last month
A PRISONER in his 80s at the state prison in Norfolk died of COVID-19 on Friday, the ninth inmate to die in the custody of the Department of Correction since the pandemic began.
Prison staff were called in a medical emergency at around 8:15 p.m. on Friday night, and they immediately began life-saving efforts on the prisoner upon finding him. The inmate was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead an hour later.
The inmate had previously tested negative on two separate COVID-19 tests, most recently on November 4, and had multiple COVID-19 screenings over the past three weeks as a part of the ongoing testing program at the state prison.
The DOC learned on Saturday that a COVID-19 test conducted at the hospital came back with a positive result.
MCI-Norfolk’s inmate population is among the oldest of the state’s 16 prison facilities. The oldest prisoner is 91.The last prisoner death from coronavirus occurred in May, according to the Department of Corrections’ statistics reported to the Supreme Judicial Court. While the number of prisoners who died of COVID-19 in DOC custody is nine, that number does not include two prisoners who were released on medical parole just hours before their deaths from COVID-19, according to documents shown to CommonWealth last week.
MCI-Norfolk saw a spike of 172 prisoners with COVID-19 in November. Other facilities, like MCI-Concord, have seen recent surges of cases, with 163 prisoners testing positive as of December 4, and an additional 47 correctional officers at the same facility.