Minnesota reports 1st COVID-related death at state sex offender treatment facility

A client from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in Moose Lake has died due to COVID-19, marking the first death related to the virus at one of the state's sex offender treatment facilities, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The person died on Tuesday. DHS could not release more information regarding the deceased due to privacy laws.

Currently, there are 18 active COVID-19 cases at MSOP facilities, DHS officials said. In total, about 740 civilly committed clients receive treatment at the facilities in Moose Lake and St. Peter.

MSOP is for those who are court-ordered to receive sex offender treatment. After an offender completes their prison sentence, courts can civilly commit those individuals and place them into treatment.

In response to the pandemic, MSOP completes weekly voluntary COVID-19 testing of staff and clients. Testing will continue until there has been two weeks without a new positive test.

Other safety precautions in place include daily symptom screenings for staff, required mask use and restricting clients to only gather with those who live in their units. Clients who test positive or have been exposed are quarantined. Outside visits to MSOP facilities have also been temporarily suspended.