SPRINGFIELD (AP) – The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 461 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, as well as eight recent deaths due to the virus.
With cases totaling 5,057 and a death toll of 73, an inmate was among the recent deaths in a state prison system, Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet. Officials acknowledged the difficulty in stopping the spread in a crowded correctional system.
“Those who are incarcerated obviously live and work and eat and study and recreate all within that same environment, heightening the potential for COVID-19 to spread really quickly once it’s introduced,” Dr. Ngoze Ezike, the state’s public health director said. “The options for isolation of COVID-19 cases are limited.”
While each COVID-19 case should be isolated, Ezike said the Pritzker administration is considering putting infected inmates together because of minimal space.