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Iowa correctional officer dies after coronavirus diagnosis: report

CDC meeting to vote on who gets coronavirus vaccine first

Frontline healthcare workers, elderly Americans among those predicted to be prioritized; Laura Ingle reports.

A second correctional officer in Iowa has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, according to a local report. 

The officer worked at the Clarinda Correctional Facility, a spokesperson from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union told local news station KCCI. 

No other details were provided. 

The fatality is the second such death in the state. A staff member at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville died on Nov. 16 following a battle with COVID-19, according to the outlet. 


The news comes after the American Medical Association (AMA) in November called for stronger disease mitigation measures at the nation’s correctional and immigrant detention facilities,  recommending that correctional workers, incarcerated people and detained immigrants be included in the initial phases of coronavirus vaccine distribution.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the virus spread quickly in high-density populations, particularly in correctional facilities,” Dr. Ilse R. Levin, an AMA board member, said in a news release at the time. “Because of the high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among people who are incarcerated and correctional and detention center workers, the AMA is advocating for increased infection control measures, additional PPE, and priority access to vaccines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Being incarcerated or detained should not be synonymous with being left totally vulnerable to COVID-19. These steps are vital to protect people and stop the spread of the virus.”

The policy called for all correctional and immigrant detention facilities to implement coronavirus infection prevention and control guidance, provide access to personal protective equipment, testing kits, sanitize and disinfect equipment, and “ensure human, safe quarantine protocols for anyone testing positive for or exposed to SARS-CoV-2.”


While no decision has been made as to who will be the first to get the coronavirus vaccine once a candidate is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a panel of independent experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is slated to issue a vote Tuesday afternoon. Experts are expected to advise that health care workers and nursing home and long-term care facility residents receive the long-awaited vaccine first. 

Fox News' Alexandria Hein contributed to this report. 

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