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Franklin County state prison reports 2 virus deaths

Posted on March 15, 2021

Local newsTop newsCOVID-19
Temporary signs near Franklin Correctional Center's front gate express appreciation for prison employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Franklin Correctional inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lindell J. Kay | Enterprise

Temporary signs near Franklin Correctional Center's front gate express appreciation for prison employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Franklin Correctional inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

A corner tower is shown Friday at Franklin Correctional Center in Bunn. Two inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lindell J. Kay | Enterprise

A corner tower is shown Friday at Franklin Correctional Center in Bunn. Two inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

Temporary signs near Franklin Correctional Center's front gate express appreciation for prison employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Franklin Correctional inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lindell J. Kay | Enterprise

Temporary signs near Franklin Correctional Center's front gate express appreciation for prison employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Franklin Correctional inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

A corner tower is shown Friday at Franklin Correctional Center in Bunn. Two inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lindell J. Kay | Enterprise

A corner tower is shown Friday at Franklin Correctional Center in Bunn. Two inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

A corner tower is shown Friday at Franklin Correctional Center in Bunn. Two inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.
Temporary signs near Franklin Correctional Center's front gate express appreciation for prison employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Franklin Correctional inmates died in a hospital last week after testing positive for COVID-19.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

BUNN — Two inmates at the Franklin Correctional Center died Friday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Both men were in their 60s and had prior medical conditions.

One inmate tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 7 and was hospitalized 10 days later. The other inmate tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 19 and was hospitalized four days later. Their conditions worsened, and both inmates died Friday, said John Bull, a spokesman for the state prison system.

“Given (their families’) right to privacy and the confidentiality of prison offender records, the Department of Public Safety will not further identify (either) individual,” Bull said.

Bull said initial review indicates that COVID-19 was likely the cause or at least a contributing factor in both deaths. Final determination in both cases will be made following review by the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Franklin Correctional Center, a medium-custody prison for adult male inmates, has reported 150 coronavirus cases with three currently active cases, according to information provided by the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

Bunn is 10 miles from Spring Hope. Momeyer — eight miles from Spring Hope in the opposite direction — is home to Nash Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison. The facility has reported 539 coronavirus cases, with 51 cases remaining active. At least two inmates have died of COVID-19.

“We are continuing our extensive efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in our prisons. The health and safety of the staff and the offender population is our top priority,” said Todd Ishee, state commissioner of prisons. “I urge the staff and offenders to be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. It’s important.” 

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