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First Prisoner At County Jail Dies Of COVID-19

The first person incarcerated at a county jail has died from COVID-19.

A 41-year-old inmate from the Middleton House of Correction died Wednesday night from complications due to COVID-19, Essex County Sheriff Kevin Coppinger said Thursday.

The male prisoner was being treated at Lahey Clinic in Burlington when he died, and suffered from underlying health conditions, the sheriff's office said. He had been in the Middleton jail since February 18.

"My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with this man’s family," Coppinger said in a statement. "This pandemic continues to wreak havoc bringing tremendous heartache to so many families in all walks of life. These are unprecedented times and we all must continue to work together to find a cure for this horrible illness."

The sheriff's office said the deceased inmate was one of 60 at an Essex County Sheriff's Department facility that has tested positive for COVID-19, and 45 have fully recovered.

Seven prisoners incarcerated in state facilities have died from COVID-19.

With reporting from WBUR's Deborah Becker. 

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