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Two more men have died of COVID-19 in prison this year, says state

The Connecticut Department of Correction announced Wednesday that two incarcerated men recently died from COVID-19, which brings the number of coronavirus deaths among the prison population to four this year.

The two men, ages 77 and 51, died within the past week.

The DOC did not release the names of the men, citing health privacy concerns. However, it disclosed that the 77-year-old man was recently hospitalized after getting treatment in a COVID-19 isolation unit at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield. He died Saturday.

The second man died Monday. Correction officials said he went to the hospital after he experienced COVID-19 symptoms and died two days after being admitted.

“I encourage those who have not been vaccinated to get their shots,” DOC Commissioner Angel Quiros said in a statement in response to the deaths.

The department said 66% of prison staff and 50% of incarcerated people are fully vaccinated, while 25% of the prison population has gotten booster shots. Department officials said they do not track booster shots for staff because the governor doesn’t require them for workers.

The latest deaths represent the 26th and 27th COVID-19-related fatalities in Connecticut prisons since the onset of the pandemic.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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