SD woman who gave birth while on ventilator dies of COVID-19 after prison transfer

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. () – An Eagle Butte woman has died of COVID-19 weeks after being transferred from South Dakota to a federal Texas prison and giving birth to her child while on a ventilator, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Andrea Circle Bear, 30, is the first female federal inmate to die of the virus. Her baby survived after being delivered via cesarean section on April 1. Circle Bear died Tuesday.

Circle Bear was transported March 20 by the U.S. Marshal Service from the jail in Winner to the Federal Medical Center Carswell, a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, according to a release from the bureau. Circle Bear was immediately placed in quarantine.

Circle Bear was taken to a hospital March 28 for pregnancy-related concerns. She was discharged the same day after evaluation from local hospital staff and taken back to the prison.

Three days later, prison health staff saw Circle Bear for a fever, dry cough and other symptoms. She was taken back to the local hospital and put on a ventilator.

Circle Bear tested positive for COVID-19 on April 4, three days after her baby was born.

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