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Third inmate from Bridgewater treatment center dies from COVID-19

A third inmate from the Massachusetts Treatment Center died Saturday while he was being treated for the novel coronavirus at a hospital, state prison officials said.

The inmate, a man in his 60s, had been incarcerated since last year and had underlying health conditions, the state Department of Correction said in statement.

His identity was not released.

The inmate was quarantined as soon as he became symptomatic and transferred to a hospital. He had tested positive for COVID-19 and remained at the hospital for treatment for 9 days as his condition worsened, the department said.

State officials had confirmed two other inmates had died after testing positive for COVID-19, one on Thursday and one on Friday.

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The news of the third inmate death comes after a superior court judge ruled in favor of releasing an especially vulnerable inmate Friday, whose roommate is believed to be the first coronavirus-related inmate death.

There has been 24 confirmed inmate cases in Massachusetts so far, the department said Saturday, with 22 at the Massachusetts Treatment Center and two at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution–Shirley. Fifteen DOC staff were also confirmed to have the virus, the department said.

The department announced Saturday it was increasing health and safety measures for every facility across the state, including limiting movement within the facilities to encourage social distancing.

“The health of incarcerated individuals, staff, visitors and volunteers is of utmost importance to the department as we continue to expand health and safety measures at all facilities, including strictly limited movement within each facility, providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and frequently disinfecting high touch areas,” the statement said.

Material from previous Globe stories was used in this report. Breanne Kovatch can be reached at breanne.kovatch@globe.com.


Breanne Kovatch can be reached at breanne.kovatch@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @breannekovatch.