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COVID-19 claims 10th Utah prison inmate

Two prison inmates accused of attacking an injuring an officer at the Central Utah Correctional Facility were serving life sentences for murder, officials said. Adobe Stock

GUNNISON — A 71-year-old inmate housed at the Central Utah Correctional Facility becomes the 10th prison inmate to die from COVID-19.

The announcement came Wednesday evening, although the man reportedly died at a hospital Tuesday night. Officials had to notify the man’s family before announcing the death.

Corrections officials said there are 1,193 active COVID-19 cases in prisoners housed at the Utah State Prison in Draper, the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison and in various county jails throughout the state. There are currently outbreaks in Oquirrh 5, Oquirrh 4, Oquirrh 3, Oquirrh 2, Oquirrh 1, Uinta 4, Uinta 3, Promontory, Lone Peak and Wasatch (Dog-Block) facilities in Draper.

In Gunnison, there are currently outbreaks in the Ironwood, Henry (Dogwood, Aspen, Cedar) and Boulder (Fir and Gale) facilities.

The department said 1,006 incarcerated individuals have been medically designated as recovered.

Both the Draper and Gunnison facilities are operating under a modified lockdown, which means that inmates are out of their cells very limited amounts of time in units where there are outbreaks.

Officials said in a written statement that they “continue to collaborate closely with state and local health officials on movement and testing, which includes separating negative cases from positive cases.” Visiting, volunteer and religious services have been suspended until at least Jan. 15. Inmates can have 10 free 15-minute phone calls per week, officials said.