Second Airway Heights inmate dies from COVID-19

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — Two inmates at the Airway Heights Corrections Center have now died from COVID-19. 

The most recent inmate to die from the virus was being treated at a separate health care facility when they passed away on December 26, according to the Department of Corrections. The first inmate to pass away from COVID complications was earlier this month. 

Airway Heights Corrections Center has by far the highest outbreak of COVID-19 in the state. As of Thursday, 1,432 inmates have tested positive at the prison. 4 News Now has spoken to inmates who believe the facility’s handling of the pandemic is partly at fault for how quickly the virus has spread. 

READ: Airway Heights inmate says he was forced to live with COVID-positive cellmate

AHCC was placed on restricted movement earlier this month to slow that spread.

Family members of inmates have reached out to 4 News Now in recent weeks, worried about the treatment of their loved ones who had tested positive.

Those family members described poor living conditions, saying the inmates were sleeping on the floor, being deprived of showers and hot food. The Department of Corrections said it had no knowledge of those allegations, though it confirmed inmates who tested positive initially went seven days without access to showers as part of the quarantine process. The DOC also said inmates have always had access to hot meals.

You can keep track of cases HERE.