SAN QUENTIN (CBS SF) — The coronavirus outbreak at San Quentin State Prison has claimed two more inmates’ lives, including Death Row prisoner Jeffrey Hawkins, prison officials announced Wednesday.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Hawkins was pronounced dead Wednesday at an outside hospital from what appear to be complications related to COVID-19. An exact cause of death has not yet been determined, CDCR said.

Jeffrey Hawkins (CDCR)

Another San Quentin inmate died Tuesday at an outside hospital from apparent COVID-19 complications, CDCR said Wednesday. There was no additional information forthcoming about the inmate because of medical privacy concerns, the CDCR said. The seven inmates on San Quentin’s Death Row who have died because of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections have all been identified by CDCR, while the four inmates from the general population who have died have not.

Hawkins was sentenced to death in 1990 out of Sacramento County for two counts of first-degree murder with use of a firearm, and attempted first-degree murder with use of a firearm inflicting great bodily injury.

The 11 inmate deaths are the second most COVID-related deaths in the state prison system, as of Wednesday afternoon. Eighteen inmates have died at the California Institution for Men in Chino.

According to the CDCR’s coronavirus tracker, there are 1,215 inmates at San Quentin with active infections, with 507 new infections within the last two weeks. Another 35 infected inmates have been released and 776 inmates have recovered from being infected with the virus.

Across the state prison system, there have been a total of 6,571 COVID-19 cases, with 1,160 new cases within the last two weeks.

Dozens of critically ill inmates — many among the old and frail from San Quentin’s Death Row — remain in local hospitals. Some are under ICU care with ventilators.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last Friday that roughly 8,000 prisoners will be released to try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at state prisons. The governor’s plan applies to low-level offenders with 180 days or less remaining in their sentences and those who are at risk of COVID-19-related complications.

 

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