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Wyoming reports first inmate death caused by COVID-19
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Wyoming reports first inmate death caused by COVID-19

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Honor Farm

The Wyoming Honor Farm pictured Sept. 8, 2017 in Riverton. An inmate there has died of COVID-19.

The first inmate to die of COVID-19 in Wyoming was confirmed Friday. According to the Wyoming Department of Corrections, the inmate died Dec. 22.

The male inmate had been incarcerated at the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton. The department has not released any other identifying information about the inmate in keeping with inmate health protections.

For months, Wyoming was one of a handful of states without an inmate death caused by the coronavirus. Now, according to data collected by The Marshall Project, Vermont is the only state that has not reported any COVID-19 inmate deaths.

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Paul Martin, a deputy administrator for the Wyoming Department of Corrections, said the department received his death notification Thursday. The department does not determine the cause of death, Martin said, so it had to wait for a medical examination to confirm its relation to the coronavirus.

Martin said the inmate died in a hospital, where he had been taken for treatment unrelated to COVID-19. Martin did not disclose the location of the hospital.

As of Friday, surveillance testing in Wyoming prisons found 14 new positive cases. Thirteen of those came from the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington, and the other was from the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins. No new cases were found at the Honor Farm, the Wyoming Women’s Center in Lusk and the Wyoming Conservation Camp in Newcastle.

Vaccinations for some penitentiary staff have begun, according to Martin, and inmates in high-risk groups may be eligible for inoculation soon.

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