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PRESS RELEASE: Second COVID-Related Incarcerated Death at Washington State Penitentiary

Released January 1, 2021

Contact DOC COVID-19 Media Inquiries, (360) 725-8212

Department of Corrections

TUMWATER – On December 31, 2020, an individual incarcerated at Washington State Penitentiary passed away at a local healthcare facility due to COVID-19 related illness. The individual’s next of kin and/or attorney has been provided notification of the individual’s passing.

The Washington State Department of Corrections offers its condolences to the family and friends of the decedent and remains committed to continue science-based health practices and following the established COVID-19 screening, testing and infection control guidelines (pdf) as the department works to contain and mitigate spread of the virus.

Washington State Penitentiary continues to place living units on quarantine in an effort to limit transmission among the incarcerated population.

As a result of the growing number of COVID-19 positive cases, the facility began COVID-19 testing of all staff within the facility on a weekly basis in August and have tested all of the incarcerated individuals housed at the Medium Security Complex. As of December 31, 2020, Washington State Penitentiary has a total capacity for 2,439 individuals and an average daily population of 2,021.

The Department of Corrections is committed to mitigating, containing and ceasing the spread of COVID-19 in its facilities and providing for the health and safety of the incarcerated, staff and the community.