According to a release from the Department of Corrections, SCI Smithfield officials have reported the prison’s first COVID-19 death among inmates.
Authorities say the inmate, whose name will not be released, was a 77-year-old male with underlying health conditions.
Officials say he had been transferred to a hospital in Clearfield County to receive care.
Prison officials say he had been incarcerated at SCI Smithfield since Oct. 2015, and was serving a 10-to-20-year sentence for aggravated indecent assault of a child.
“We continue our battle against this dangerous invisible enemy,” Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said. “With fall upon us, we are experiencing a resurgence. That is why it is vital to continue our aggressive mitigation efforts. We cannot let our guard down.”
SCI Smithfield reports that there are currently 25 active cases among inmates and 39 among staff at the facility, and that they are following all the necessary mitigation protocols.
“We are experiencing the same thing that our counties are experiencing, and we are following very strict procedures to mitigate the virus’ impact on our state prisons,” Wetzel said. “I’ve directed our staff to act aggressively and quickly when inmates report influenza-like illnesses, and that includes isolating and quarantining inmates, locking down units or entire prisons as needed, conducting regular cleanings and even 72-hour deep cleanings in order to protect staff and inmates.”