Oshkosh Correctional inmate dies during COVID-19 outbreak

It isn’t known if the inmate had COVID-19 or died from other causes
Oshkosh Correctional Institution
Oshkosh Correctional Institution
Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 8:06 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Corrections confirmed to Action 2 News that an inmate died at Oshkosh Correctional Institution earlier this week. There are still a lot of questions about this prisoner and how they died.

We first received reports of an inmate death while investigating a COVID-19 outbreak on Tuesday (read our report here). The Department of Corrections confirmed those reports in an email.

The DOC does not determine the cause of death, and privacy laws prevent the agency from sharing any further information. The DOC referred us to the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office, which told us they don’t know how the inmate died yet. An autopsy still needs to be performed, and results could take up to six weeks.

The death comes as Oshkosh Correctional is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak with 382 positive cases among inmates at last count Thursday, with 347 of those still active cases.

Action 2 News reached out to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services about their role in monitoring and assisting with outbreak response at state prisons. A spokesperson said the DOC is handling outbreaks within the prison system.

The Winnebago County Health Department is working with the Oshkosh Correctional Institution and Department of Corrections to manage the outbreak.

A statement from local health officials reads in part, “Cases are reported to the Winnebago County Health Department, and our team provides guidance regarding infection control practices and mitigation strategies.”

The director of communications for the DOC tells Action 2 News they are focused on stopping the spread of the virus in facilities where outbreaks have been reported and caring for those inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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