COVID-19 inmate death toll up to 196 in Florida

A doctor takes a blood sample for a quick COVID-19 test from a handcuffed inmate at a comprehensive diagnosis center that set up to attend patients with new coronavirus in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Aug 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos) (Ariana Cubillos, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The number of Florida prison inmates who have died of COVID-19 has increased to 196, up seven from last month, according to state prison and health agencies.

Also, five corrections staff members have died.

The Reception and Medical Center in Union County has been linked to 43 inmate deaths, while the South Florida Reception Center in Miami-Dade County has been linked to 23, according to a breakdown on the Florida Department of Health website.

Union Correctional Institution has had 14 inmate deaths, while Columbia Correctional Institution and Dade Correctional Institution have each had 10.

In all, 17,560 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to a Wednesday count posted on the Florida Department of Corrections website.

That was up from 17,537 a week earlier. Also, 4.603 corrections workers had tested positive as of Wednesday, up from 4,389 a week earlier.