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22 Iowa inmates have died from COVID-19

A total of 22 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 22 inmates and two staff members in Iowa prisons have died from the novel coronavirus, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC).

A release from the DOC says Ray Gene Triplett, 57, died on Sept. 15 "likely due to complications related to COVID-19 and other preexisting medical conditions" at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). 

Triplett had been transported to UIHC from the Iowa State Penitentiary. He had been serving a life sentence for first-degree sex abuse in Scott County. His sentence began on Sept. 8, 2011. 

The data on the DOC's dashboard was last updated on Sept. 13 at 8:30 a.m. with six cases across Iowa's nine DOC facilities. It does not include Triplett's death. 

The Iowa Correctional Institution for Women has one case, Iowa Medical Classification has three, Iowa State Penitentiary has one and the Newton Correctional Facility has one. 

Below is a breakdown of inmate deaths for each facility as of the latest death:

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

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

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

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, four died in January and two died in February. No inmate deaths were reported from March through July 2021. 

Three Iowa State Penitentiary inmates have died between Aug. 27 and Sept. 15 this year.

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)
  20. James Lee Blair (8-27-2021)
  21. Phillip Benito Cuevas (9-4-2021)
  22. Ray Gene Triplett (9-15-2021) 

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

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