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6th South Carolina inmate dies of coronavirus

The agency said he tested positive on July 2 and had been isolated since then.

BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — A sixth South Carolina inmate has died of the coronavirus, according to the state prisons agency.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections said the 49-year-old inmate died at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville. The agency said he tested positive on July 2 and had been isolated since then.

They add that he had severe underlying medical conditions. 

The agency said so far of the 16,840 offenders statewide, 426 have tested positive for the coronavirus. Of those, 123 have recovered and 303 are active cases. There are 91 active staff cases.

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In one case, 84 offenders and 11 staff members at MacDougall Correctional have tested positive for COVID19.  

The agency said it is working closely with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to ensure proper guidelines and protocols are being followed to safely manage staff and offenders.

Chrysti Shain, a corrections spokesperson, shared in an earlier interview a little about those protocols.

"Inmates and staff clean living areas every two hours. Inmates on quarantine have their vitals checked twice daily. Everyone is required to wear masks unless they have a medical condition that precludes them from doing so," Shain said.  

She added that they've developed two apps to help with contact tracing and have a rapid testing machine from the state to get results more quickly. 

The National Guard has also been tapped to assist and things like visitation and community work remain suspended as the virus rages on.

Credit: SCDHEC