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Sixth N.C. inmate dies of COVID-19

RALEIGH (AP) — An inmate at a central North Carolina state prison who tested positive for the coronavirus has died, the Department of Public Safety has announced.

The prisoner at the Albemarle Correctional Institution in Stanly County died on July 14 from preexisting conditions complicated by the coronavirus, a department news release said. The male prisoner was hospitalized last week and tested positive a few days later, the release said.

The death marks the sixth coronavirus-related death involving a state prison inmate. Albemarle is among more than 20 state prisons where mass testing has been conducted, according to the department. About 100 inmates have tested positive there, the department said.

As of the afternoon of July 15, more than 1,050 positive cases had been recorded among the 9,300 state prison inmates tested since the pandemic began. Pressed by a judge’s order, the state prison system is now working to test all 32,000 current inmates by early August.

When federal prisons and other locations are included, more than 1,900 positive cases have been reported at correctional facilities in North Carolina with 31 deaths, the Department of Health and Human Services reported.

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