5 More Inmates Infected With COVID-19 Die as TDCJ Prepares to Resume Prisoner Intake Next Month

The COVID-19 death toll within Texas jails reached 54 as the TDCJ announced it would resume intake from county jails beginning July 1

File photo of a Texas prison.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says five more inmates have died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the total of inmate deaths related to the virus to 54.

An additional 35 deaths are still under investigation.

The TDCJ also announced Tuesday that it would resume the intake of offenders from county jails, on a limited basis, on July 1. Intake from county jails was halted on April 13.

“TDCJ has tested more individuals than any other correctional system in the country,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier, in a prepared statement. “With this baseline information, the agency is prepared to slowly and safely begin the process of receiving county jail offenders.”

Of the more than 125,000 tests completed on staff and inmates, 7,445 inmates and 1,116 employees tested positive for the virus.

All five inmates whose deaths were reported Monday were among those who tested positive for COVID-19. According to the TDCJ, evidence suggests that COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death.

Two of the five inmates were serving sentences from Dallas County, including 28-year-old Nicolas Andres Sanchez and 72-year-old Michael Lynn Sprague.

The other three inmates were 59-year-old Roy Lee Bosier, 83-year-old David Erasmo Garcia and 62-year-old Florencio Zarate Salas.

In addition to the 54 inmate deaths, at least eight TDCJ employees have died due to coronavirus, including 54-year-old Correctional Officer Thomas Adedayo Ogungbire, of North Texas, who died on June 11. In May, two other correctional officers died after testing positive for COVID-19.

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