18,000 medical masks delivered to Duval County jail

Delivery comes after 178 inmates tested positive for COVID-19

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Health officials are preparing for another round of testing after an outbreak of the coronavirus at a Jacksonville detention facility.

Inmates who tested positive and those exposed to infected inmates will have to be tested again before being removed from isolation, according to the Florida Department of Health in Duval County.

Health officials completed testing 2,887 inmates Sunday and found 178 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility’s peak.

Rules set back in April will require thousands of items of protective gear for staff, infected inmates and the rest of the jail’s general population.  

The Department of Health in Duval County says it provided the jail 18,000 medical masks – in addition to an earlier delivery of 15,000 – for inmates and corrections officers Monday. 

An internal Department of Corrections memo from April instructs any employee who has direct contact with inmates suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 to wear full protective gear, which could include N95, masks, outerwear, eye protection, gloves and boot covers.

VIEW: Department of Corrections response to COVID-19 memo

It would require the Department of Corrections to have enough protective gear for screening nurses, personnel in charge of the release, transfer and intake of inmates, any officers escorting inmates to their housing and for officers who have to conduct cell searches on inmates who are confirmed or suspected to have the virus, according to the memo.

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