BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts Department of Correction says "movement" inside all state prisons is being "strictly limited" to help social distancing efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement follows the third coronavirus-related death of an inmate at Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater over the weekend.
"DOC was informed this morning that an inmate from the Massachusetts Treatment Center who was being treated for COVID-19 at a hospital died earlier today," DOC said in a statement on Saturday. "The health of incarcerated individuals, staff, visitors and volunteers is of utmost importance to the department as we continue to expand health and safety measures at all facilities, including strictly limited movement within each facility, providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and frequently disinfecting high touch areas."
The man, who was in his 60's and had underlying health conditions, had been incarcerated since 2019. He was quarantined after he started exhibiting symptoms, and was later transported to a hospital where he tested positive for COVID-19. His health declined over nine days before he died, according to DOC.
The new restrictions on movement come two days after the state's Supreme Judicial Court ruled that some inmates could be released early, to help stem the spread of the virus inside the state's facilities.
The state's roughly 8,000 inmates will still have contact with their attorneys and the outside world through phone and mail. Family and friends visitation rights have been temporarily suspended at all 16 state correctional facilities since March 12, according to a DOC statement.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl (@KBuhlWBZ) reports: