The Chaffee County Detention Center reported on Monday the April 17 the death of a man who had been incarcerated at the county jail facility in Salida. The death is believed to be related to complications from a COVID-19 infection, which the inmate contracted early this month.
The 53-year-old was not in the care or custody of the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office at the time of death and where he contracted COVID-19 is not known.
But the detainee tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3 and was then housed in an isolation pod within the Chaffee County Detention Center, where he received on-site care through the Sheriff’s Office medical staff. He was transferred to Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (HRRMC) in Salida for care on April 13 and released from detention center custody on no-cost personal recognizance bonds.
He was taken later that same day to UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central in Colorado Springs, where he was hospitalized before passing away April 17.
The inmate population was scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine on April 14, however, due to the pause ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and CDPHE on April 13 regarding use of the Janssen vaccine, the vaccinations were rescheduled to April 21 using the Pfizer vaccine.
The Chaffee County Detention Center currently houses 37 inmates. A COVID-19 outbreak at the facility was reported on April 4 after eight inmates and four staff tested positive for coronavirus infection, with one of those cases reportedly symptomatic. Detained individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 are housed in a pod that is physically separated from other inmates within the jail following COVID-19 precautions.
The jail command staff continues to partner with Chaffee County Public Health and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to provide testing and vaccinations for detainees and staff.
Additional information is pending notification of the decedent’s family.