Suspension of prison visits extended through June 7


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the number of COVID-19 cases in the state prison system increasing in recent weeks, the Florida Department of Corrections on Monday extended a ban on visitors through June 7.

The suspension was initially imposed March 11 and was extended in April to try to prevent the spread of the deadly respiratory disease into the prison system.

In a news release Monday, the department said the “decision to reinstate the normal visitation schedule will be evaluated in consultation with public health experts.”

Numbers released Monday show that 1,106 inmates and 237 corrections workers have tested positive for COVID-19, with 10 inmates dying from the respiratory disease.

The cases have been largely concentrated in 10 prisons.

Homestead Correctional Institution has had the most inmate cases, with 231. It is followed by Liberty Correctional Institution, with 191 inmate cases; Hamilton Correctional Institution, with 137; Tomoka Correctional Institution, with 132; Sumter Correctional Facility, with 102; Apalachee Correctional Institution, with 74; South Bay Correctional Facility, with 68; Gadsden Correctional Facility, with 67; Blackwater Correctional Facility, with 57; and Columbia Correctional Institution, with 25.