FARIBAULT, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Corrections (MDOC) is reporting the death of a 71-year-old inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault, due to COVID-19.
Officials say they have identified the individual as Leroy Wallace Bergstrom, who had been hospitalized at the facility since June 16, after testing positive for the virus on June 10.
“On behalf of the Department of Corrections and the State of Minnesota, I extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. Bergstrom’s family, loved ones, and friends,” said Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell. “While the department’s longstanding focus has been on public safety and rehabilitation, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a focus on public health as well. Mr. Bergstrom’s death reminds us of the lethality of this virus, and the need for all of us to make sure we’re taking appropriate precautions to prevent spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”
If confirmed by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's autopsy report, MDOC says Bergstrom would be the second incarcerated individual to have died from the virus in Minnesota.
The first reported death of an inmate was back on June 23 at the same facility.
Authorities say there are 1,718 individuals currently incarcerated at the Faribault correctional facility. Since June 3, 206 of them have tested positive for COVID-19, across 4,892 total tests.
MDOC said most inmates testing positive have not reported any symptoms
The Minnesota Department of Corrections has taken preventative measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities, which has included reducing facility populations.
Those measures can be viewed, here.