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19th Iowa inmate dies from COVID-19

A total of 19 inmates and two staff members from Iowa's correctional facilities have died from COVID-19, according to the Department of Corrections.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above originally aired on Nov. 23, 2020. See the full story here.

A total of 19 inmates and two staff members in Iowa prisons have died from the novel coronavirus, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC).

The latest prisoner to die was 63-year-old Kevin McDonnell, who was pronounced dead "likely due to complications related to COVID-19 and other preexisting medical conditions" at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on Tuesday morning.

McDonnell had been serving a 25-year sentence at the Newton Correctional Facility for second-degree sex abuse from Muscatine County. His sentence began in April 2008.

He was the first inmate from Newton to die from the virus, which currently has 49 inmates who are positive. The Iowa Medical Classification Center is also experiencing an outbreak with four prisoners currently positive for COVID-19. 

Both the Fort Dodge and Mt. Pleasant facilities have one positive inmate. 

The data on the DOC's dashboard was last updated Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

Below is a breakdown of inmate deaths for each facility:

  • Anamosa State Penitentiary: 6
  • Clarinda Correctional Facility: 1
  • Fort Dodge Correctional Facility: 4
  • Iowa Medical and Classification Center (IMCC): 5
  • Iowa State Penitentiary: 2
  • Newton Correctional Facility: 1

The DOC site does not provide much information on staff deaths but does say two staff members have died from the virus. 

One staff member from the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women died on Nov. 16. The other staff member worked at the Clarinda Correction Facility. They died on Nov. 28, according to the DOC dashboard. 

The first prisoner death was reported on July 6, 2020. Two other inmates died in that month. One prisoner died in September. 

Deaths from COVID-19 in Iowa's prisons spiked in November. Six inmates died between Nov. 8 through 24. This spike goes along with the surge in cases in Iowa.

Three inmates died in December and four died in January. 

Here is the list of inmates who have died from COVID-19: 

  1. Ray Vanlegen (7-6-2020)
  2. Ronald Holdsworth (7-11-2020)
  3. Timothy McGhee Jr. (7-27-2020) 
  4. Richard Peters (9-6-2020)
  5. David Streets (11-8-2020)
  6. Gene Dryer (11-14-2020) 
  7. Jonathan Strain (11-16-2020) 
  8. Robert Sirovy (11-17-2020)
  9. Timothy Bryant (11-22-2020)
  10. Frederick Lewis (11-23-2020)
  11. Larry Whaley (12-5-2020)
  12. Mark Steven Baily (12-10-2020)
  13. Dale Dean Viers (12-20-2020)
  14. Jessie Gonzales (1-7-2021)
  15. Harold Duncan (1-26-2021) 
  16. James Kleppe (1-29-2021)
  17. Robert Taylor (1-31-2021)
  18. Steven Van Riper (2-4-2021)
  19. Kevin McDonnell (2-23-2021)

The youngest inmate to die was 48-year-old Timothy McGhee. The oldest inmate was 89-year-old Harold Duncan. 

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