Florida prisons see hundreds of additional coronavirus cases

Handcuffs jail bars prison
Handcuffs jail bars prison (WJXT)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s prison system recorded 443 new coronavirus cases and an inmate death over the holiday weekend, according to figures released Monday by the state Department of Corrections.

An additional 354 inmates and 89 correctional workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

In total, the state has logged 2,443 inmate cases and 622 employee cases, officials confirmed Monday.

Twenty-five inmates have died of complications related to COVID-19, including one inmate who died over the weekend.

All but 12 of the 2,443 inmate cases are concentrated in 19 prisons in various parts of the state. Polk Correctional Institution and Graceville Correctional Facility, a prison operated by The Geo Group, reported COVID-19 outbreaks over the weekend. Polk jumped from one confirmed inmate case on Friday to 131 inmate cases on Monday, and Graceville went from six inmate cases to 74 cases over the weekend, according to figures provided by correctional officials.

As the disease continues to spread in prisons, officials have offered voluntary COVID-19 testing to all inmates and staff members at 13 prisons that have at least 100 inmate cases.