Officials: Fourth Cook County Jail inmate dies after testing positive for COVID-19

Coronavirus

A cell block inside the Cook County Jail

CHICAGO — A fourth person who was incarcerated at Cook County Jail has died after testing positive for COVID-19, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday.

Officials said 64-year-old Karl Battiste died Sunday afternoon at Stroger Hospital, where he was being treated for the virus. An autopsy will officially determine the cause of his death this week.

Battiste was booked into Cook County Jail on January 15, 2019 and was being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge.

An outbreak of the coronavirus has led to 215 detainees, 191 correctional officers and 34 other staff members testing positive for the novel coronavirus to date. The sheriff’s office said 21 inmates are currently being treated at area hospitals, and the rest have “mild-to-moderate” symptoms.

Inmates who test positive are isolated and treated, with some being moved to a 500-bed isolation facility built in preparation for the virus, the sheriff said.

Of those who tested positive, 180 detainees and 79 employees have recovered, according to official statistics.

A graph shows the number of detainees who tested positive for COVID-19 through April 19, 2020 (Courtesy: Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

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