COVID-19 Outbreak at Fort Dodge Prison Continues to Grow

FORT DODGE, Iowa - A COVID-19 outbreak at the state prison in Fort Dodge continues to grow.

The Department of Corrections now reports 186 cases among inmates at the prison, a spike of 67 from its last report. There were 39 cases one week ago Monday, after the first case was reported in late June. There is only one other COVID-19 case among Iowa's eight other prisons.

A second inmate at Fort Dodge has died after one passed away last week. The Corrections Department says 62-year-old Ronald Holdsworth suffered a medical emergency before he died at a hospital in Fort Dodge. It says an an autopsy will determine whether COVID-19 was a factor in his death.

The death of 71-year-old Fort Dodge inmate Ray Allen Vanlengen last week was linked to the virus. Both Vanlengen and Holdsworth had preexisting medical conditions.

Sixteen staff members at the Fort Dodge prison have now tested positive for COVID-19, an increase from seven in the Corrections Department's last report. Four staff members have recovered. There have been no inmate recoveries.

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