17 California inmates have now died of what appears to be COVID-19

CHINO, CA - AUGUST 19: The California Institution for Men prison fence is seen on August 19, 2009 in Chino, California. After touring the prison where a riot took place on August 8th, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that the prison sys

Two inmates at a Southern California prison have died from what appear to be complications of the coronavirus, state corrections officials said Monday.

The two were housed at the California Institution for Men in Chino, east of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County. One died Sunday and the other died Monday at an outside hospital, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Although their deaths are believed to be related to COVID-19, the exact causes have not yet been determined, the department said.

There have now been 17 COVID-19-related inmate deaths in the state prison system, the department said. All but two involved inmates at the California Institution for Men.

Statewide, 2,460 inmates have “active cases” of COVID-19, including 501 at the California Institute for Men, the department said.

In addition, two corrections employees have died and there are nearly 300 employees with active COVID-19 cases.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.