CARLISLE, Ind. (WTHI) - Gary Weinke was an officer at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility for 13 years.
Weinke passed away on Saturday after losing his battle with COVID-19.
He was 67-years-old.
News 10 spoke with the active warden at the facility.
He said this loss has been hard on everyone.
He said Weinke had a huge heart, was a great worker, and will be missed by everyone.
"We're a pretty tight-knit family here at Wabash, so we all get close. We know each other's personal lives. We work with them for 12 hours a day, so anytime that we lose a, what we would consider a family member, it's tough on everybody," said Frank Littlejohn.
Due to social distancing rules, they couldn't come together to celebrate Weinke this weekend.
Instead, the staff lined up and drove to Weinke's house to show support for his wife.
The Indiana Department of Corrections said it's the first death of an officer who contracted COVID-19.
We're told there are currently seven staff members who have tested positive for the virus.
Four of the staff members have finished their quarantine and returned to work.
Three offenders have tested positive.
Now you may be wondering what they're doing to keep everyone safe.
Littlejohn said all staff members and offenders are to wear masks to help keep them protected.
When they arrive for their shift, each staff member is screened for symptoms of the virus.
Littlejohn said if they show a fever or any symptoms, they're sent home immediately.
"You know, we just have to take it very seriously to protect the inmates, to protect each other, protect the community, the spread. So, that's kind of our focus and concentration over the last several weeks, and we'll continue to do so," said Littlejohn.
It is important to note that Weinke's last day in the facility was at the end of March.
Littlejohn said there's no indication that anyone he came in contact with has the virus.