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12th Florida inmate dies of COVID-19

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A twelfth Florida inmate has died from complications related to COVID-19 as the number of cases among state prisoners continues to climb, the Florida Department of Corrections reported on Thursday.

The Florida Department of Health also updated a list that identifies the prisons where inmates have died during the pandemic. Seven of the inmates were at Blackwater Correctional Facility, three were at Sumter Correctional Institution, one was at Dade Correctional Institution, and one was at Union Correctional Institution.

The number of state prisoners who have tested positive for COVID-19 climbed to 1,473, corrections officials reported.

The vast majority of inmate cases are concentrated in 10 correctional facilities in various parts of the state, including Hamilton Correctional Institution, Homestead Correctional Institution and Liberty Correctional Institution.

A potential outbreak could also be brewing at Everglades Correctional Institution, which on Thursday recorded its first six inmate cases. Thirty-two inmates at the facility also have been placed in medical isolation because they are “suspected or presenting symptoms of an infectious illness" and are awaiting test results, according to corrections officials.

As of Thursday, corrections and health officials have conducted 12,470 tests on inmates. The total number of tests includes re-tests, making it unclear how many of the state’s roughly 94,000 inmates have been tested at least once.

Corrections officials on Thursday also reported that 261 staff members across the state have tested positive for the virus, but they will not say how many workers have been tested for the virus.