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Wash. CO dies from COVID-19

WADOC is proceeding on the presumption that Gabriel Forrest’s death was work-related

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By Rolf Boone
The Olympian

ABERDEEN, Wash. — A correctional officer in Grays Harbor County has died from complications of COVID-19, the state Department of Corrections announced late Friday.

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Gabriel Forrest died from complications of COVID-19 on June 17. He was 42.

Washington State Department of Corrections

Gabriel Forrest, 42, died June 17. He had worked at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen since 2002.

“Gabe was a very kind and caring person — I have never heard anyone say a bad thing about him.” said Ron Haynes, superintendent at Stafford Creek Corrections Center, in a statement. “He was one of the most humble people I have known, and he will be missed.”

According to DOC data as of Friday, 122 staff at Stafford Creek have tested positive to date for the virus, with one death. As for inmates, 1,206 have tested positive with five deaths.

The DOC, which is “proceeding on the presumption that his death was work-related,” will review Officer Forrest’s death as a possible line of duty death.

For that review, the department will consult with the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial-Behind the Badge Foundation and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

(c)2021 The Olympian (Olympia, Wash.)