WV DHS responds to death of inmate, COVID-19 not a factor

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — An inmate at Mount Olive Correctional Center died on July 17, 2020. Leaders with the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated the man had tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before his death; however, the treating medical provider said the virus was not a contributing factor to his death.

He was receiving hospice care for stage four metastatic cancer. The name of the inmate was not released.

According to a release, the man tested negative for COVID-19 twice. These happened in June and again a week before his death. He was being treated at an outside hospital. The results of the third test came back during the week of July 20-26. The man was in quarantine after returning to the prison from treatment.

Contact tracing is being done by the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) and the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that a case involving a positive test for COVID-19 should not be reported as a COVID-19 death if medical opinion concludes it did not cause or contribute to the death.That is the finding of the treating medical provider contracted by the DCR. The Bureau for Public Health at the West Virginia DHHR has reviewed the inmate’s case and concurs.

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