Allegheny County Jail reports death of COVID-19 positive inmate

PITTSBURGH — A COVID-19 positive inmate of the Allegheny County Jail died Sunday after being taken to the hospital in August.

Jail officials announced Sunday that the 48-year-old man was an inmate and had been hospitalized since late August.

“We are deeply saddened by this loss and express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual. Our hearts go out to them during this difficult time,” said Warden Orlando Harper. “This pandemic has impacted all of our lives in severe and devastating ways, and that includes those who we care for at this facility, and those who provide that care. For over a year and a half, we have all worked through difficult and demanding circumstances to continue to respond to the challenges of COVID and have managed that with no loss of life until now.”

According to a press release, the man was unvaccinated and had additional medical risk factors.

The news release states that medical decisions were made by the hospital medical team in consultation with his designated family member, and jail administration worked daily with the hospital’s medical team and the family member to ensure there were continued updates related to care. Additional efforts were also made in consultation with the Public Defender’s Office and the inmate’s private counsel for the inmate’s release and to petition the court for emergency visitation.

Sunday’s death brings the total COVID-19 deaths in Allegheny County to 2,095 since March 2020. Across the state, there have been 147 inmate deaths as a result of COVID-19. Of those, 141 are of individuals in state correctional institutions.

According to the release, the jail offers all three available vaccines to those committed to the facility. To date, over 1,400 individuals have been vaccinated. In the current population, 815 individuals are fully vaccinated and another 52 are partially vaccinated, with a 51% vaccination rate of the 1,699 individuals in the jail.