Florida prisons see hundreds of additional coronavirus cases



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.

Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.