CHICAGO (CBS) — A total of 179 Cook County Jail inmates were being treated for the coronavirus as of Tuesday, while 144 are recovering, the Cook County Sheriff’s office said.
The total included 21 being treated at local hospitals off the jail campus, the Sheriff’s office said. The detainees who are no longer positive are being monitored at a recovery facility at the jail.
Two inmates have died of apparent complications from COVID-19.
Leslie Pieroni, 51, was pronounced dead Thursday evening at St. Anthony’s Hospital, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.
He had been hospitalized since Friday of last week after testing positive for COVID-19, the Sheriff’s office said.
The first inmate to die, Jeffrey Pendleton, 59, was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital of Cook County at 9:49 p.m. Sunday, April 5.
A third inmate, Nicholas Lee, 42, was pronounced dead Sunday morning at Stroger Hospital of Cook County after also testing positive for coronavirus.
Lee had been hospitalized since Monday, April 6, after testing positive for COVID-19, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. His official cause of death is pending autopsy, but preliminary reports say he died of cardiac arrest.
A total of 196 correctional officers and 38 Cook County Sheriff’s employees have also tested positive, the Sheriff’s office said. There are 18 employees who also tested positive, but have since recovered and returned to work.
The Sheriff’s office emphasized that it created a 500-bed isolation and care facility for detainees and switched them to single cells, and also partnered with the New Roseland Community Hospital for onsite testing for frontline staff.
The Sheriff’s office said it also instituted early screening and testing of detainees even before the virus started spreading rapidly in the Chicago area.