Southern Correctional Offender Dies after Testing Positive for COVID-19


A Southern Correctional Institution offender with pre-existing medical conditions, who tested positive for COVID-19, has died at a hospital.

“We are continuing our extensive efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in our prisons. The health and safety of the staff and the offender population is our top priority,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons. “I urge the staff and offenders to be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. It’s important.”

The offender tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 7. He was hospitalized initially on Feb. 8 and again on Feb. 14. His condition worsened, and he died on Feb. 26.

The offender was a male in his late 70s who had underlying health conditions. Given his family’s right to privacy and the confidentiality of prison offender records, the Department of Public Safety will not further identify the individual.

Initial review indicates that COVID-19 was likely the cause or at least a contributing factor to his death. Final determination of cause of death will be made following review by the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Prisons leadership has taken more than four dozen actions throughout the North Carolina prison system to try to prevent transmission of the virus. They are found here:

This press release is related to: