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BOP COVID-19 UPDATE -- March 15, 2021

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

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Quick Facts:

Currently positive-testing inmates: 621 (down from 674)

Currently positive-testing staff: 1,392 (down from 1,535)

Recovered inmates: 47,062 (up from 47,059)

Recovered staff: 5,236 (up from 5,051)

Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates:

Schuykill FCI: 69 (down from 80)

Beaumont USP: 52 (up from 49)

Florence (High) USP: 51 (unchanged)

Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing staff:

Pollock USP: 84 (unchanged)

Tucson USP: 69 (unchanged)

Talladega FCI: 46 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 125,052 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,654 in community-based facilities. Today's stats:

Completed tests: 107,040 (up from 106,917)

Positive tests: 46,869 (up from 46,915)

News Note: From 2 inmates begged for release from federal prison in N.J. where coronavirus raged. They both died of COVID.

By Joe Atmonavage | NJ Advance Media for

When a federal judge released Dominick Pugliese from custody in February, the

former Fort Dix inmate was nearly dead.

It was the exact dire situation Pugliese feared could happen when he applied for

compassionate release last April as the coronavirus pandemic began

devastating the region.

Pugliese told prosecutors and a federal judge that the virus could place him in

greater danger of having a serious illness due to his underlying health

conditions, like asthma and hypertension, according to court documents.

Prosecutors, according to court documents, opposed the release of the man

sentenced to nearly 20 years in 2016 on drug trafficking and firearms charges,

saying he had not served sufficient time, while also questioning the seriousness

of his medical issues.

Pugliese’s petitions to be released were dismissed multiple times by a judge,

according to court documents.

Then it happened. Pugliese became one of nearly 2,000 inmates at the federal

prison in Burlington County to contract the virus — the highest number of cases

of any federal correctional facility, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

It is unclear when exactly he tested positive, but his family claims it happened

sometime after he was moved from a two-man prison cell to a room with 11

other inmates, as outbreaks infected every corner of the prison. On Jan. 7, according to court documents, a chaplain had reached out to Pugliese’s

daughter to let her know her father had contracted COVID-19 and was being

treated at a local hospital.

The family says it was told nothing else.

Over the next month, prison officials declined to alert Pugliese’s family or his

public defender to how he was doing or where the Pennsylvania native was

being treated out of security concerns.

They would later learn that Pugliese was suffering from “severe COVID

pneumonia,” according to a court document filed by his attorney in February,

and that Pugliese had been in the intensive care unit for more than a month and

was now on a ventilator.

By mid-February, Pugilese could no longer respond to verbal or tactile stimuli,

and medical staff described his condition as “‘extremely grave,’ with a 78%

likelihood of mortality,” wrote Quin Sorenson, the attorney.

“The defendant, Dominick Pugliese, is dying,” Sorenson wrote to a judge on Feb.

12 as he sought to have Pugliese released from custody. A federal judge agreed

to the release that day.

“The Court does not find the ends of justice would be served by keeping

Defendant in custody and denying his family access to his whereabouts while

he undergoes serious illness,” U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane wrote. “The

severity of his condition suggests that at best he may be facing prolonged

hospitalization and rehabilitation.”

Pugliese was not that lucky.

He died from complications of the virus last week, his family said. The father of

six was 61 years old....

Death Watch: The BOP reports no new deaths. Inmate deaths remain at 225. Four of these inmates died while on home confinement. Staff fatalities remain at 4.

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