CORONAVIRUS

Anamosa inmate dies amid COVID-19 outbreak

Nearly half of inmates in the state prison have tested positive; outbreaks at other prisons also reported

The administration building as seen from North High Street in Anamosa, photographed on Sept. 3, 2015. The prison was bui
The administration building as seen from North High Street in Anamosa, photographed on Sept. 3, 2015. The prison was built beginning in 1873, when 20 inmates from Fort Madison were brought to begin construction. The prison is mostly constructed of limestone and earned the nickname the White Palace of the West. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

An Anamosa inmate died Sunday from COVID-19 as the state prison there struggles with an outbreak that has affected more than 500 inmates and staff.

David Allen Streets, 70, died at 9:48 p.m. at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he was transported recently “due to declining health,” the Iowa Department of Corrections reported Monday.

The Anamosa State Penitentiary reported 485 inmates — nearly half the 982 inmates — have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday. Fifty prison staff have tested positive, with 20 listed as recovered. No inmates are listed as recovered.

There also are outbreaks at the Clarinda Correctional Facility, where 377 inmates and 16 staff had tested positive, and the North Central Correctional Facility, in Rockwell City, where 254 inmates and four staff were COVID-19 positive.

Overall, 1,145 Iowa prison inmates are COVID-19 positive, with 1,256 recovered. Of staff, 103 are COVID-19 positive and 202 have recovered.

Jones County recorded a spike in COVID-19 cases last week, with outbreaks at the prison, schools and long-term care facilities. Corrections Department spokesman Cord Overton told The Gazette last week the Anamosa prison was on restricted movement status to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. He said most inmates were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.

“Those that are experiencing more severe symptoms or are at higher risk of complications due to the virus are given extra medical observation to ensure that if hospital care becomes necessary, they receive this higher level of care as quickly as possible,” he said.

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Streets had been serving a life sentence for first-degree kidnapping and first-degree murder. His sentence started in June 1981. The Corrections Department reported he had multiple preexisting medical conditions before contracting COVID-19.

Comments: (319) 339-3157; erin.jordan@thegazette.com

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