Corrections Officer Joe Kates died after contracting COVID-19 during an outbreak among staff and inmates at North Kern State Prison.
Officer Kates had served with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for four years. He is survived by his wife and children.
In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.