Death of client at sex offender program in Moose Lake

The Minnesota Sex Offender Program at Moose Lake has had its first COVID-19 related death. The Minnesota Sex Offender Program at Moose Lake has had its first COVID-19 related death. |  Photo: WDIO FILE

Created: December 03, 2020 03:53 PM

A client at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) in Moose Lake died Tuesday of COVID-19. According to the Department of Human Services, it is the first COVID-related death among clients or staff at MSOP facilities.

The deceased’s family has been notified. Under patient data privacy laws, no further information can be released.

“Losing a loved one is always difficult, but it’s especially painful under these circumstances, when the pandemic is claiming so many lives,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all those who will miss him.”

Nearly 740 civilly committed clients receive treatment at MSOP facilities in Moose Lake and St. Peter.

There are currently 18 active cases of COVID-19 in MSOP facilities.

All facilities have implemented stringent infection-prevention and control measures to protect clients and staff from COVID-19.

Staff are screened daily for fever and other COVID symptoms before they begin their shifts and are required to wear surgical masks while on duty. Clients are required to wear cloth masks. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, clients are only allowed to move and gather with others who live in their units. Clients who have been exposed to COVID or who have confirmed infections are quarantined or isolated to prevent transmission.

In addition, MSOP has implemented voluntary mass testing of staff and clients. The point prevalence testing takes place one day each week and targets all willing staff and clients who are in the facility during a specific shift. Testing will continue until the facilities have gone two weeks without a new positive case.

Additional safety precautions have been implemented including the temporary suspension of outside visits to MSOP facilities. Vendors or essential service providers who must enter the facilities must pass a screening first.

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