Riverside County inmate dies due to apparent complications from coronavirus


A Riverside County jail inmate has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, sheriff’s deputies said Sunday.

The inmate, who was being held at Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, began displaying flu-like symptoms on April 13, sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Wallace said, and was “immediately” tested for COVID-19 before being transferred to another housing unit to be more closely monitored by medical staff.

Results came back positive for COVID-19 the following day, Wallace said. Several days later on April 20, correctional facility staff noticed the inmate — whose name was not released by the sheriff’s department —had worsening symptoms, and he was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

On April 26, the inmate died from “what appeared to be complications related to COVID-19,” Wallace said, while noting that an exact cause of death has not yet been determined.

The unnamed inmate had been in custody for alleged arson and burglary since 2018. An investigation was continuing into the inmate’s death, Wallace said.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.