Inmate With Numerous Health Conditions Dies With COVID-19

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An inmate at Sussex Correctional Institution who had chronic health conditions has died with COVID-19 complications.

According to the Delaware Department of Correction, 40-year-old Michael Harris tested positive January 10th after showing symptoms. He was admitted to a hospital three days later, but his condition deteriorated suddenly Tuesday and he died late Tuesday night. Authorities said Harris also was affected by diabetes, asthma and chronic pain syndrome.

Harris had been in and out of custody for the past 23 years. Last month, he was sentenced to a year in prison on drug-related charges.

The DOC has reported a spike in coronavirus cases over the past eleven weeks at several facilities elsewhere, and continues with proactive screening and testing.

The Department of Correction provided this update Wednesday regarding COVID-19:

inmate COVID-19 case data as of January 19, 2021:

  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 10,571 inmate COVID-19 tests have been administered.
  • 1,792 inmates have recovered from COVID-19 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, including 1,242 inmate recoveries since the November clusters were first identified.
  • 84 inmates have active COVID-19 infection, including 21 inmates who are symptomatic.  2 inmate COVID-19 patients are hospitalized and no inmate patients are on a ventilator.
  • Over the past four months (since mid-September) more than 1,300 inmates have recovered from COVID-19, while two inmates have died from COVID-related complications.  
  • Since April there have been a total of 13 COVID-related inmate deaths (including Harris), including 12 from complications from serious chronic diseases and COVID-19 and 1 from COVID-19.