Second inmate at Stafford Creek dies from COVID

A second inmate at Stafford Creek Corrections Center has died from COVID-19 and more than half the inmates in the prison have tested positive for the virus, according to information released Saturday by the state Department of Corrections.

The individual passed away at a community healthcare facility Saturday, the department said.

“The Washington State Department of Corrections offers its condolences to the family and friends of the decedent and remains committed to continue science-based health practices and following the established COVID-19 screening, testing and infection control guidelines as the department works to contain and mitigate any spread of the virus,” read the statement.

As of Friday, Stafford Creek has had 770 COVID-19 cases in the previous 30 days among the incarcerated population. The total number for the pandemic Friday was at 1,010, more than half the inmate population. As of Nov. 30, 2020, Stafford Creek Corrections Center has a total capacity for 1,942 individuals and a current population of 1,830, according to the Department of Corrections.

As a result of the growing number of COVID-19 positive cases and the associated quarantined cases that go with them, on Dec. 5, the facility initiated restricted movement to limit the potential for exposure.

The most current numbers for Grays Harbor County available Monday were from 11:59 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8. The case count stood at 2,560 cases, up 95 from Tuesday’s numbers. On an updated county zip code map Friday, more than half the total cases, 1,420, were attributed to the Aberdeen 98520 zip code.

Grays Harbor Public Health updated its transmission metrics Friday. Taking into consideration the large number of cases from Stafford Creek, the amount of community transmission, where the source of illness cannot be identified, has dropped over the last week data was available to less than 8%. However, when Stafford Creek numbers are not included, that rate is closer to 30%.

The Quinault Indian Nation, as of Monday reported 92 total confirmed cases within its service area for the pandemic. The number of active cases, including tribal members and community residents living within its service area, was at eight, with 84 considered totally recovered. The number of COVID-related deaths confirmed by tribe-enrolled death certificates is seven, with two of those out of state.

Monday, the nation had set up its mobile testing unit in a parking lot on the corner of Michigan Street and West Heron. Calls to the nation about the site were not immediately answered.