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Inmate coronavirus death toll up to 17

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Two Florida inmates died from complications of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the toll of coronavirus-related deaths in state prisons to 17, the Florida Department of Corrections reported on Sunday.

The Florida Department of Health did not immediately disclose the names of the facilities where the prisoners were housed. The other 15 inmates who died from complications of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, were housed in seven prisons in various parts of the state, according to a Department of Health report.

Blackwater River Correctional Facility and South Bay Correctional Facility, two prisons operated by The Geo Group Inc., Sumter Correctional Institution, Dade Correctional Institution, Everglades Correctional Institution, Liberty Correctional Institution and Union Correctional Institution have had inmates die. They are among a dozen facilities with reported COVID-19 outbreaks.

The number of inmate cases increased by 16 over the weekend. As of Sunday, 1,569 inmates had tested positive for the virus, corrections officials reported. Also, 293 staff members had tested positive for the virus, with six testing positive over the weekend.

As of Sunday, corrections and health officials had conducted 14,831 tests on inmates. The number of tests included re-tests, making it unclear how many of the state’s roughly 94,000 inmates had been tested at least once for the virus.