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Third FD inmate dies from COVID-19

Prisoners account for half of county death toll

A third inmate with COVID-19 at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility passed away Monday, according to an Iowa Department of Corrections news release.

Timothy Louis McGhee Jr., 48, died due to complications related to COVID-19 Monday evening at the University of Iowa Hospital. McGhee had multiple preexisting conditions, according to the DOC.

The death, not reflected in public health statistics for Webster County, is the sixth of a person who lived in Webster County while positive to die from COVID-19. It’s unclear whether McGhee will be counted as a Webster County resident or Johnson County resident for public health statistics since that he was transferred to the Iowa Medical & Classification Center (Oakdale) shortly before his death to be closer to the hospital. Webster County’s death count has not increased since his death.

McGhee was serving a 15-year prison sentence for second-degree theft convictions out of Linn County in the Fort Dodge prison when he contracted COVID-19 during the prison’s outbreak this month. After his health worsened, he was taken to the hospital in Iowa City and subsequently released to the IMCC, where he stayed until his health declined again.

The man had been serving his sentence since October 2018.

The outbreak at the Fort Dodge prison was first reported on July 6, after 39 inmates tested positive. As of Wednesday, statistics show that 337 inmates have tested positive — about one-third of the facility’s population.

Of those who tested positive, all but 53 are now considered “recovered.” DOC figures also note that 30 staff members in Fort Dodge tested positive, all but nine of whom have since recovered.

The prison outbreak largely fueled county statistics. Webster County’s cases quadrupled over the month of June. The county now has 672 cases.

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