Two more Utah inmates die after testing positive for coronavirus
FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2015, file photo, a watch tower at the Utah State Correctional Facility in Draper, Utah. The Utah State Prison in Draper and the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison have been placed under a 24-hour lockdown after authorities believe the general inmate populations were exposed to COVID-19. The state Department of Corrections tells The Deseret News that the facilities went into lockdown Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, around 3 p.m. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool, File)
Two more inmates in Utah prisons have died after testing positive for the coronavirus, the Department of Corrections announced Wednesday.
A 70-year-old inmate died Monday and a 48-year-old inmate died Wednesday. Both had been housed at the Oquirrh 5 facility in Draper, which holds the prison’s most medically vulnerable inmates
, and both were hospitalized when they died. Their families have been notified of their deaths.
A total of nine incarcerated individuals have died after testing positive for the virus this year. Another 560 inmates currently have COVID-19 while 684 have recovered from it.
Advocates for prisoners have accused the Department of Corrections of not doing enough to prevent coronavirus-related deaths. The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah says it has received reports
of prisoners not getting medical help after they complain about having trouble breathing. One inmate told The Salt Lake Tribune in a letter that after he tested positive he was put in a cell with another sick inmate. He said neither of them saw a doctor or had their temperatures checked.
Utah has seen fewer deaths in prisons than other states where hundred of inmates have died, according to The Marshall Project
— though Utah experienced its first COVID-19 outbreak in October, much later than other states.