2nd correctional officer at Cook County Jail dies of COVID-19

Antoine Jones worked for the Cook County sheriff’s office since July 2002, authorities said. He lived on the South Side and is survived by his wife and five adult children.

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Officials in April declared paper to be contraband in the Cook County Jail, a move that is being questioned by advocates for inmates.

A Cook County Jail correctional officer died May 10, 2020, of apparent complications of COVID-19.

Sun-Times file photo

A second correctional officer at Cook County Jail has died from complications of COVID-19, according to the sheriff’s office, while an outbreak of the disease at the jail has already killed more than a half-dozen detainees and infected hundreds other detainees and staff.

Antoine Jones, who died Sunday, worked for the Cook County sheriff’s office since July 2002, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. The 51-year-old lived on the South Side and is survived by his wife and five adult children.

Jones was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late March, the sheriff’s office said.

Autopsy results released Monday confirmed he died of a coronavirus infection, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

His death is considered a line-of-duty death and the sheriff’s office “will be strongly advocating that his family receive all the benefits that designation affords,” the sheriff’s office said in the statement.

“We mourn the loss of Officer Jones and send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones for the irreplaceable loss of this husband, father and friend,” the sheriff’s office said.

As of Sunday evening, 89 correctional officers at the jail are positive for the virus, in addition to 32 other sheriff’s office employees, officials said. Another 275 employees who previously tested positive have since returned to work.

Seven detainees of the jail have died after testing positive for COVID-19, according to the sheriff’s office. Currently, 236 detainees are positive for the virus, with six being treated at hospitals. 

Another 291 detainees are no longer considered positive for the virus and are being monitored at a recovery facility at the jail, the sheriff’s office said.

“Correctional staff like Officer Jones are the unseen heroes in the fight against this global pandemic, bravely working to keep their fellow colleagues, detainees, and the public safe from COVID-19,” the sheriff’s office said said. “We will honor his memory with our continued fight to confront this insidious and unrelenting disease.”

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