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On April 21, 2020 a male inmate housed at Pender Correctional Institution who tested positive for COVID-19 died at the hospital as a result of pre-existing conditions complicated by the Coronavirus. This is the first Coronavirus death of an individual in custody at a North Carolina state prison. 

The Pender Correctional Institution is in Burgaw, North Carolina.

Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons says:

“Any death is a tragedy, and we must continue our efforts to do all we can to try and flatten the curve of COVID-19 in Prisons. The health and safety of the staff and the men and women in our custody is of paramount importance.”

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According to NCDPS the offender exhibited symptoms of a viral infection on April 8, 2020. He was promptly isolated from the population, in keeping with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the NC Department of Health and Human Services, and tested for COVID-19. The test came back positive on April 10, 2020.

Despite constant medical attention, he was hospitalized on April 13, 2020, NCDPS says. His condition worsened, and the offender died at the hospital on April 21, 2020, NCDPS says. 

The offender was a male in his late fifties and had underlying health conditions.