California Rehabilitation Center correctional officer dies after testing positive for COVID-19

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Posted at 7:34 PM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 22:37:07-04

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced Sunday the death of California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) Correctional Officer Danny Mendoza, 53, on Saturday, May 30.

Officer Mendoza had recently tested positive for the coronavirus, according to officials. CRC is located in Riverside County.

“I am deeply saddened by this dedicated officer’s passing,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said. “My prayers are with the Mendoza family during this challenging time, and I know that everyone at CDCR sends their condolences and support.”

Officer Mendoza had been employed with the department for 24 years. He was appointed as a cadet in 1996. After graduating, he transferred as a correctional officer to Calipatria State Prison and then to CRC in Norco in 2018, where he worked as a correctional officer until his death.

CRC staff and other public safety employees from Corona Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Corona Fire Department, Riverside County Fire Department, and Riverside County Coroner’s Office to honor Officer Mendoza with a vehicle procession on Saturday.

An exact cause of death will be determined by the Riverside County Coroner’s Office officials said in a press release.

According to the state website, 10 CRC employees have tested positive for the novel virus and one has returned to work.

In San Luis Obispo County, three staff members and one inmate at the California Men's Colony have contracted COVID-19, according to the website.