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Calif. county correctional officer dies of COVID-19

Officer Juan Cruz had been hospitalized since October 13 after contracting the virus at work


Screengrab/Sacramento Bee

By Bryant-Jon Anteola
The Fresno Bee


Officer Juan Cruz’s death is considered in the line of duty.

Fresno County Sheriff’s Office

FRESNO, CALIF. — A Fresno County correctional officer died Friday after contracting COVID-19 while at work.

According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s, correctional officer Juan Cruz had been hospitalized since Oct. 13 after contracting the coronavirus while on the job.

Cruz, 52, died in the hospital.

It is unclear if Cruz was vaccinated or if he wore a mask regularly while at work.

Cruz’s death is classified as occurring during the “line of duty,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

COVID-19 is considered the leading cause of death for officers throughout the nation — roughly five times more likely to die of COVID-19 than gunfire — despite law enforcement being among the first groups eligible to receive the vaccine at the end of 2020, according to a CNN report.

A law enforcement procession was held late Friday afternoon in downtown Fresno.

Cruz had been with the Sheriff’s Office since Aug. 2012.

He leaves behind three children.

(c)2021 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.

(c)2021 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)