TOPEKA, Kan. — A staffer who worked at the Lansing Correctional Facility has died from COVID-19 complications, Kansas Department of Corrections Secretary Jeff Zmuda announced on May 12.
George Bernard “Bernie” Robare, 61, died on May 11 after a nearly three-week battle with the coronavirus, his wife, Susan, told FOX4. KDOC confirmed the staffer was over the age of 60.
Susan Robare told FOX4 that Bernie worked for the prison for 36 years. A KDOC statement said he served in various roles, most recently as a corrections supervisor.
He started getting sick on April 22. He spent time hospitalized and intubated before he died.
“Our staff put themselves on the frontlines (sic) every day, but especially during this pandemic,” Zmuda said in a statement. “This is an extremely sad day and one that we hoped would never come.”
The coronavirus has run rampant within the prison. As of Monday, May 12, 728 inmates and 88 staff members tested positive for the virus, according to KDOC’s website. Of the inmates who tested positive, 668 are asymptomatic.
As of May 4, three inmates testing positive for COVID-19 have died. Robare is the first staffer to die after testing positive.
Gov. Laura Kelly offered her commendations to the worker in the statement as well as her sympathy to his family.
“We are extremely saddened by the news of this passing, and I extend my condolences to both his family and those who worked alongside him,” she said.
Susan Robare said she wants her husband to be remembered as a humble, kind soul.