Another Colorado inmate dead after experiencing coronavirus symptoms

Case is fourth COVID-related death at Sterling Correctional Facility and fifth in state prisons

A photograph of the sign outside the Sterling Correctional Facility in Logan County. (Sterling Journal-Advocate)

A fifth inmate at a Colorado prison died on Tuesday after experiencing coronavirus symptoms. 

The 71-year-old man, who the DOC declined to name due to medical privacy laws, was incarcerated at the Sterling Correctional Facility and died at the North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.

The death was reported Wednesday night, when the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released its weekly outbreak data.

As of Friday morning, the DOC had not formally announced the death or updated its COVID-19 dashboard to reflect the change. Annie Skinner, a DOC spokeswoman, said in an email on Thursday that the department is waiting for confirmation that the inmate’s family had been notified.

‘It was just chaos’: Former Sterling prison guard says COVID protocols were not enforced

There have been five coronavirus-related deaths in Colorado prisons, four of which occurred at the Sterling prison in northeastern Colorado — the state’s largest correctional facility, which currently houses nearly 1,900 inmates and employs 766 staff members. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 712 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases at Sterling, which at one point had the largest outbreak in the state, according to the DOC’s website.

In total, there have been 2,387 inmates and 466 staff members across 15 state-run correctional facilities who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Outbreaks have also been swelling in Colorado jails over the last two weeks, with the largest occurring at the El Paso and Denver County jails.