Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirms first inmate with COVID-19 in the state


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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has confirmed the first known case of COVID-19 among incarcerated offenders in the state Tuesday.

According to the TDCJ, the inmate is a 37-year-old who was being held at Lychner State Jail. He was taken into custody on Feb. 27, in Harris County where he was convicted on two drug possession charges.

TDCJ says the inmate began complaining of a shortness of breath and coughing on Saturday. The prisoner was immediately evaluated by health professionals at the jail before being brought to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. He was later brought to Hospital Galveston where he was tested for COVID-19.

“TDCJ is saddened to learn of this positive case in an offender but the agency is well prepared to handle this challenge,” said Bryan Collier TDCJ’s Executive Director. “Our coronavirus protocol was developed exactly for a situation like this. Our prayers are with the offender and his family as he recovers from this illness.”

Other inmates and jail staff who have interacted with the prisoner who tested positive are currently being medically restricted. TDCJ says there are no other symptomatic offenders at Lychner Jail.

The inmate who tested positive is currently in good condition.

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