Coronavirus Updates

Identity made of first WV inmate death believed related to COVID-19

Coronavirus in West Virginia

UPDATE: 8/29/2020 @ 8:40 a.m. – According to the U.S. Marshals, 40-year-old Samuel Swisher passed away Friday.

Swisher was a U.S. Marshal Service prisoner being held at South Central Regional Jail.

The West Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s Office is responsible for the death investigation.

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – An inmate from the South Central Regional Jail died early Friday, Aug. 28 which health officials say the cause may be related to complications from COVID-19.

According to the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security, he was of a 40-year Wood County man who was being held on federal charges. Health officials say he had underlying medical conditions and tested positive for COVID-19 within the past week while at the hospital.

State officials say this is the first death linked to the coronavirus from a West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility since the first COVID-19 case confirmed on March 17.

A DSH spokespman says the inmate had tested negative in second rounds of testing on Aug. 12. at South Central Regional Jail, along with nearly 450 inmates and more than 80 employees. As of Thursday, Aug. 27, there were seven active cases and 57 recoveries.

DCR officials say they have conducted a second round of testing at Mount Olive Correctional Complex on Aug. 23. So far, 162 inmates and 115 staff have tested negative. As of Friday, Aug. 28, Mount Olive had 31 active inmate and 13 active staff cases

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