SNOW HILL, N.C. — A Maury Correctional Institution offender with pre-existing medical conditions, who tested positive for COVID-19, died Thursday night 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 and to get a booster dose as soon as they are eligible. It’s important.”

The offender, who was unvaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 26. He was hospitalized on Feb. 2. His condition worsened, and he died late Thursday night.

The offender was a male in his early 60s 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.

He is the 58th North Carolina offender to die of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago.

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: https://www.ncdps.gov/our-organization/adult-correction/prisons/prisons-info-covid-19