coronavirus in illinois

4th Detainee at Cook County Jail Dies After Contracting Coronavirus

As of Sunday evening, 395 total detainees at the jail had tested positive for the virus and 180 of those individuals have recovered

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

A forth detainee at Cook County Jail has died after contracting the coronavirus, officials announced Sunday.

Karl Battiste, 64, was pronounced dead Sunday at Stroger Hospital, where he had been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, the Cook County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

A ruling on the cause and manner of his death was pending an autopsy, the sheriff’s office said.

As of Sunday evening, 395 total detainees at the jail have tested positive for the virus, 180 of which have recovered and are being monitored at a recovery facility at the jail, while 21 of those cases are being monitored at local hospitals.

Additionally, 225 staff members at the jail have tested positive, 79 of which have recovered.

Battiste's death comes one week after the sheriff’s office announced the third death of a detainee from complications of COVID-19.

Last Sunday, 42-year-old Nicholas Lee was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital, where he had been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

A ruling on the cause and manner of his death was pending an autopsy, but preliminary reports indicate he died of cardiac arrest, the sheriff’s office said.

Last Thursday, 51-year-old Leslie Pieroni was pronounced dead at St. Anthony’s Hospital, where he had been hospitalized since April 3 after testing positive for COVID-19.

A ruling on the cause and manner of Pieroni’s death was pending an autopsy, but preliminary reports indicate he died as a result of complications from the coronavirus, the sheriff’s office said.

The same day of Pieroni’s death, a federal judge handed down a series of mandates designed to keep detainees at the jail safe from the coronavirus.

“Everything Sheriff’s officers and county medical professionals have done since before the virus started spreading in the Chicago area was in an effort to prevent the loss of life to this deadly virus,” the sheriff’s office said. “We will continue to work round-the-clock to aggressively combat the spread of COVID-19.”

Two weeks ago, 59-year-old Jeffrey Pendleton was the first detainee reported to have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

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