A pregnant woman transferred from South Dakota to Texas during the coronavirus pandemic is the first female federal inmate to die of the virus.

Andrea Circle Bear, a 30-year-old from Eagle Butte, died Tuesday, according to a news release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Her baby survived after being delivered by cesarean section.

Circle Bear was transferred March 20 by the U.S. Marshals Service from the jail in Winner to FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, a facility for female inmates with health needs.

Like all other federal inmates, Circle Bear was immediately placed on quarantine. She was seen March 28 by prison medical staff and taken to the hospital for concerns about her pregnancy before returning that day. Three days later, medical staff found she had a fever and dry cough so they took her to the hospital where she was placed on a ventilator.

Circle Bear?s baby was delivered April 1. She tested positive for COVID-19 on April 4. Circle Bear, who had a pre-existing condition making her high-risk for the virus, died Tuesday. She is the first female and one of 30 federal inmates to die from COVID-19. 1,313 inmates and 335 staff have tested positive.

Circle Bear was serving 26 months in prison after being sentenced Jan. 14, according to a news release sent by the U.S. Attorney?s Office at the time. She pleaded guilty in October 2019 in a South Dakota federal court to maintaining a drug-involved premises for distributing methamphetamine on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

The case stems from a confidential informant making two meth purchases from Circle Bear back in April 2018, according to the factual basis document she signed. Circle Bear was found with eight grams (.02 pounds) of meth at the home, which she did not live in but used for distributing drugs.

?Don?t let yourself or your property get mixed up in the world of illegal drugs," U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons said when Circle Bear was sentenced. "It ends badly.?
https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/lo...SQNYUrQ6Wt2Kz8