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79th California prison inmate dies of COVID-19 complications

The Avenal State Prison inmate died at a hospital. The prisoner's name was not released.

AVENAL, Calif. — Authorities say an inmate at a central California prison died of complications from the coronavirus Saturday, becoming the state's 79th person to have a fatal case of COVID-19 while they were incarcerated. 

The Avenal State Prison inmate died at a hospital. The prisoner's name was not released.

There have been 15,872 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state prison system. Advocates say jails and prisons nationwide are prime locations for the virus to spread between inmates and staff. 

Officials have released hundreds of inmates to decrease jail and prison populations across the country during the pandemic.

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