Federal Inmate Gives Birth on Ventilator, Dies Weeks Later

Andrea Circle Bear is first female federal inmate to die of COVID-19 while in custody
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 29, 2020 12:11 PM CDT
Feds: COVID-19 Kills Inmate Who Gave Birth on Ventilator
Stock photo of prison.   (Getty Images)

A pregnant inmate whose baby was delivered by cesarean section while she was on a ventilator after being hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms has died in federal custody, the Bureau of Prisons said Tuesday. Andrea Circle Bear, 30, died on Tuesday, about a month after she was hospitalized while serving a 26-month sentence for maintaining a drug-involved premises. She is the 29th federal inmate to die in the Bureau of Prisons custody since late March but the first female federal inmate to do so, the Washington Post reports. As of Tuesday, more than 1,700 federal inmates have tested positive for COVID-19; about 400 have recovered. The AP has the timeline: Circle Bear was first brought to FMC Carswell, a federal prison medical facility in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 20 from a local jail in South Dakota.

As a new inmate in the federal prison system, she was quarantined as part of the Bureau of Prisons’ plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus. She was taken to a local hospital on March 28 for "potential concerns regarding her pregnancy," but was discharged from the hospital the same day and brought back to the prison, officials said. Three days later, prison medical staff members decided she should be brought back to the hospital after she developed a fever, dry cough, and other symptoms, according to the Bureau of Prisons. Circle Bear was put on a ventilator that same day and her daughter was born the next day by C-section, officials said. She tested positive for COVID-19 days later, on April 4. BOP did not disclose information about the baby’s health.

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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