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NEW BOSTON, Texas —An inmate at the Barry Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas, who tested positively for COVID-19 has died, Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials announced Wednesday.

Telford and 14 other Texas prison units with a positive offender or employee test are on lockdown. Only staff assigned to the unit may enter.

TDCJ announced Wednesday that four Telford employees have tested positively for COVID-19 and are in "self-quarantine."

The entire facility has been placed on "medical restriction."

"Offenders in medical restriction are locked down and are being issued cotton masks. TDCJ staff and employees at facilities are provided with and required to wear cotton masks as are parole officers in the field. Where appropriate, staff are issued Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As TDCJ learns of new positive tests, contact investigations are being conducted to determine which individuals may have been exposed to the virus," TDCJ's website states.

Bartolo Infante, 72, was in medical isolation in a Texarkana hospital when he died Tuesday.

"Infante suffered from a number of pre-existing medical conditions and was hospitalized for viral pneumonia when he tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3rd," TDCJ's website states.

Telford has a 2,872-inmate capacity. As of Thursday afternoon eight inmates have tested positively and 18 tests are pending. One inmate has tested negatively and TDCJ's website lists 2,820 inmates on medical restriction — the entire unit.

The website shows 26 inmates are currently in medical isolation at Telford. The site states that medical isolation is "for people who are sick and contagious. Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy," the site states.

Telford has the second highest number of medical isolation inmates listed of any Texas prison unit as of Wednesday evening.

Bowie County Jail

As of Wednesday, LaSalle Corrections, the company that manages the Bi-State Justice Building jail and Bowie County jail annex, reported that four staff members have tested positively. One has returned to work following an isolation period and with a doctor's consent.

LaSalle Corrections Spokesman Steve Giddings said Tuesday that 38 inmates are being quarantined from the others as a precaution because of possible contact with an infected staff member. Giddings said no inmates are showing symptoms of infection and none of the inmates have been tested for COVID-19.

Miller County Jail

Chief Deputy Mark Lewis said no staff or inmates have shown symptoms of COVID-19 infection in the Miller County jail. Lewis said screening measures, such as temperature checks, are conducted on anyone entering the facility.

Texarkana FCI

Texarkana Federal Correctional Institution Spokesperson Kristi Collins said Wednesday that the local federal prison has zero cases in staff and inmates. Visitation at all local jails and prisons has been suspended because of the pandemic.



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