3 more Florida inmates die from complications of COVID-19

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Three Florida inmates died over the weekend from complications of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, the state Department of Corrections reported on Monday.

The identities of the three inmates and the prisons where they were housed were not immediately disclosed. As of Monday, 15 state prisoners had died after contracting the virus.

The Florida Department of Health earlier reported that seven inmates had died at Blackwater River Correctional Facility, a prison operated by The Geo Group Inc. Three inmates had died at Sumter Correctional Institution, while one had died at Dade Correctional Institution and one had died at Union Correctional Institution.

The number of prisoners who had tested positive for COVID-19 climbed to 1,529 as of Monday morning, corrections officials reported.

The inmate cases are concentrated in 11 prisons in various parts of the state, including Homestead Correctional Institution, Hamilton Correctional Institution, Liberty Correctional Institution and South Bay Correctional Facility, a prison operated by The Geo Group, a contractor.

Everglades Correctional Institution, a Miami prison with 30 inmate cases, was the latest prison to report an outbreak. The prison recorded its first six inmate cases last Thursday.

As of Monday, corrections and health officials had conducted 13,261 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 Monday also reported that 265 staff members had tested positive for the virus, but they won’t say how many workers have been tested for the virus.