The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says the deaths of two inmates are likely connected to the coronavirus pandemic and that more than 900 offenders and 325 staffers are now confirmed to have tested positive for the virus statewide.
The latest deaths brings the total number of inmates who have died after contracting COVID-19 to 10.
According to numbers released Monday night by the TDCJ, 325 employees, staff or contractors who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 909 offenders who have tested positive with 787 of those being active cases. Statewide, the TDCJ said 34 employees and 97 offenders have medically recovered from COVID-19.
Of the most recent deaths, the TDCJ said Saturday that 63-year-old Timothy Bazrowx and 65-year-old Harold Dean Wilson died at Hospital Galveston while being treated for the disease.
Bazrowx was assigned to the Wynne Unit but was transferred to Hospital Galveston after complaining of shortness of breath on April 17. A test confirmed he was positive for COVID-19 and he died six days later. Wilson, who was transferred to the hospital from the Terrell Unit on April 18 also tested positive for the disease and died April 23.
Both men had preexisting health conditions and the the families of both men declined to have autopsies to confirm the causes of death.
The TDCJ said there are an additional 12 deaths under investigation and pending preliminary autopsy results; two other deaths that had been under investigation have been determined to be non-COVID-19 related after the return of preliminary autopsy reports.
According to data released by the TDCJ, there are nearly 18,000 inmates in Texas currently on medical restriction -- where an inmate who is well but has been exposed to a communicable disease has been separated from the population and his or her movement has been restricted to prevent the spread of that disease.
Roughly another 1,000 inmates are in medical isolation, where an inmate who is sick and contagious is separated from others and treated for their illness.
Further details about the conditions of employees, staffers or inmates have not been disclosed by the TDCJ.