Two More People Die from COVID-19 while in Cook County Jail Custody, Bringing the Death Toll to Six

On Monday, two people incarcerated in Cook County Jail died of COVID-19. Rene Olivo was 42 years old, and Juan Salgado Mendoza 53 years old. The announcement of their deaths comes less than 24 hours after the Sheriff’s Office announced the death of Karl Battiste and two Sheriff’s employees. In total, six people incarcerated in Cook County Jail have now died of COVID-19.

In the past four weeks, 395 people incarcerated in the jail have tested positive for COVID-19. If Sheriff’s staff are included, nearly 700 people associated with Cook County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19. Advocates believe that many more people have contracted the virus but that inadequate testing has resulted in lower-than-actual reported numbers.

The only way to prevent more deaths is through decarceration. We continue to demand decarceration in the name of public health. Please sign our petition calling on State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx to take further steps to decarcerate Cook County Jail. Then pick up the phone and call Cook County’s Chief Judge, Sheriff, and State’s Attorney to demand a mass release now!

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