Texas man jailed in Humble is state’s first inmate to test positive for COVID-19

HOUSTON – The first case of coronavirus in Texas’ jail system was confirmed Tuesday.

According to a news release, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is treating a 37-year-old offender who has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The inmate has been hospitalized at Hospital Galveston – where he is being treated -- for three days. He reported feeling shortness of breath and cough while in custody at the Lychner State Jail Atascocita.

Authorities said he was evaluated and transferred to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston before being transferred to Hospital Galveston, where he tested positive for COVID-19.

He has a preexisting respiratory condition, but authorities said he is in good condition. Any other offenders or staff who came in contact with the inmate are being “medically restricted,” according to the release.

“TDCJ is saddened to learn of this positive case in an offender but the agency is well prepared to handle this challenge,” said Bryan Collier TDCJ’s Executive Director. “Our coronavirus protocol was developed exactly for a situation like this. Our prayers are with the offender and his family as he recovers from this illness.”

An initial investigation did not find any other inmates with symptoms at the Lychner State Jail.

Authorities said the man was arrested on Feb. 27 and convicted on two drug possession charges.

About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.