• The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed to CBS News on Friday that an employee who died earlier this week posthumously tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a report.
  • The bureau said Robin Grubbs, who worked at the US Penitentiary in Atlanta, is the “first potential” staff death due to COVID-19, CBS News reported.
  • Health experts say controlling the spread of the virus is difficult inside jails and prisons due to inmates living in close quarters, Business Insider has previously reported. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Robin Grubbs, a federal prison employee who worked at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, is the “first potential” staff death due to the coronavirus, the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed to CBS News on Friday.

Grubbs, who worked as a case manager at the Bureau-operated penitentiary, died earlier this week and posthumously tested positive for the virus, according to the report. She was found dead in her home on Tuesday, and her last day working at the facility was on Friday, April 10.

A spokesperson told CBS News that Grubbs was “screened prior to entry and determined to be asymptomatic.”

“Robin was a dedicated employee whose efforts sought to improve the lives of inmates and her fellow staff. She was promoting into a new reentry role in the agency which would have prepared her for future leadership opportunities. Robin will be sorely missed by her Bureau family,” William Woods, the prison’s warden, wrote in a statement.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons and the United States Penitentiary, Atlanta, did not respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

Grubbs will be remembered as an “Army veteran, a diehard Atlanta Falcons fan and a hard worker,” CBS News reported after speaking with colleagues and said she was close with her parents and brother.

Grubbs started her career with the Bureau of Prisons in 2007 as a correctional officer, according to a report from WSB-TV, an Atlanta ABC News affiliate. Grubbs was promoted to a food service assistant, and then to a case manager.

Health experts say controlling the spread of the virus is difficult inside jails and prisons due to inmates living in close quarters, Business Insider has previously reported.

The Atlanta penitentiary has 2,030 total inmates, according to the Bureau of Prison’s website, and all visits there have been suspended until further notice in adherence with a bureau-wide mandate that has also increased the allotted time for inmates’ telephone calls amid the pandemic. 

The federal bureau has 143,721 inmates in institutions managed by the bureau and 10,369 housed in community-based facilities, with 18 federal inmate deaths.

As of Friday, 465 federal inmates and 296 Bureau of Prisons staffers have tested positive for the virus, while 113 inmates and 25 staff have recovered, according to the bureau. 

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