2 COVID-positive inmates die at Minnesota correctional facilities in Moose Lake, Faribault

2 COVID-positive inmates die at Minnesota correctional facilities in Moose Lake, Faribault Photo: KSTP/Jay Kolls.

Tommy Wiita
Updated: December 11, 2020 04:17 PM
Created: December 11, 2020 10:59 AM

On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Corrections said a 66-year-old inmate at the Faribault facility and a 63-year-old inmate from the Moose Lake facility died at Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis on Thursday. Both had recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the DOC.

The identities of the men are being withheld pending full notification of next of kin. 

“This has been a difficult day for the Department of Corrections,” said Commissioner Paul Schnell. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these men. We continue to do everything in our power to mitigate and contain the spread of COVID in our facilities."

Minnesota has the fourth-lowest incarceration rate in the nation, yet, based on available data, is the fourth highest in the number of COVID-19 tests (77,467) performed to date, including large states like California and Texas. 

These are the seventh and eighth COVID-related deaths in the Minnesota DOC system since the pandemic began. It's the fourth such death recorded at the Faribault facility and the first death reported at the Moose Lake facility.

Currently, there are 393 COVID-positive incarcerated people at the Faribault location and 54 COVID-positive staff. In Moose Lake, there are 45 COVID-positive incarcerated people with 20 COVID-positive staff. In total, there are 1,783 people currently incarcerated at the Faribault facility and 929 at Moose Lake. 

According to the DOC, three other incarcerated people department-wide are currently in critical condition and receiving ventilator treatment at outside hospitals. Several DOC staff members are also currently hospitalized due to the virus.

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