Commissioner: Timothy C. Ward

Director of Public Affairs: Joan Heath


FORSYTH, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) announced today the death of a 49 year-old offender who had been housed at Lee State Prison (SP) in Leesburg, Ga. The offender was previously reported to have tested positive for COVID-19, and was pronounced deceased on March 26 at approximately 6:45 p.m. at a hospital in Albany, Ga. The inmate had been hospitalized since March 15.

The GDC continues to monitor the status of COVID-19 exposure at Lee State Prison (SP) in Leesburg, Ga., and the following information outlines the most recent information as of this writing:


  • Two offenders are hospitalized after being confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 20;
  • Three offenders tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25, 26 and 27, respectively, and are currently asymptomatic and remain in medical isolation at Lee SP;
  • One offender was admitted to the hospital on March 22 for flu-like symptoms, and COVID-19 test results are pending;
  • Thirteen offenders are housed in medical isolation at Lee SP for exhibiting flu-like symptoms; of those, two have been tested for COVID-19 and results are pending.


  • Four staff members tested positive for COVID-19;
    • Three are asymptomatic and are quarantined at home per Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines, and  last reported to work on March 9, March 13, and March 16 respectively;
    • One is currently hospitalized, and last reported to work on March 16.

The Georgia DPH has protocols in place to contact individuals who may have been in direct contact with the staff members who have tested positive.

The GDC currently has one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the offender population at Phillips State Prison (SP) in Buford, Ga. The offender, who is currently asymptomatic, first exhibited flu-like symptoms on March 20, and has been housed in medical isolation at the facility since that time. The COVID-19 test was returned positive on March 26.  At this time, there are no positive cases of staff at Phillips SP.

Both Lee SP and Phillips SP are on restricted movement; however, offenders continue to have access to medical care, showers, meals and hygiene related products. Additionally, the GDC continues to screen staff entering each of our facilities, with questionnaire-based attestation documents and temporal temperature screening.

About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit

The GDC’s Office of Health Services is working closely with the Georgia DPH to ensure appropriate protocols and guidelines are followed while managing the safety and welfare of our staff and offender population.


Press Contact Joan Heath