State Department of Corrections announces third inmate death due to COVID-19

Goose Creek Prison in Anchorage.
Goose Creek Prison. (Ellen Lockyer/KSKA)

The Alaska Department of Corrections announced the third death of an Alaska prisoner due to COVID-19 on Tuesday. A 78-year-old with underlying health conditions was transferred from Anchorage Correctional Center to Alaska Regional Hospital on December 4 and died from COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, according to a statement. 

Last week, a 77-year-old at the Goose Creek prison in Point Mackenzie died of COVID-19 at the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. Two weeks ago, the state announced the first death, a 69-year-old at Goose Creek. The state has withheld the names of the individuals for privacy reasons.

The Department of Corrections has reported 21 incarcerated people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19. Across Alaska’s prison system, more than 1,000 people have tested positive for the disease, including more than half the population of the Goose Creek prison. That’s out of 4,500 total people currently serving time in the state correctional system, according to the Alaska Justice Information Center

As of Monday, 617 of Goose Creek’s approximately 1,300 inmates had active cases of COVID-19, according to Department of Corrections spokesperson Sarah Gallagher. Anchorage Correctional Complex had 43 active cases and Yukon-Kuskokwim Correctional Center had 65.

Kavitha George is Alaska Public Media’s climate change reporter. Reach her at Read more about Kavitha here.

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