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COVID-19 Cases Among Florida Inmates Showing Significant Increase

Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are seen before they are prepared for RNA testing.
Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are seen before they are prepared for RNA testing.

Florida’s prison system has had a significant increase in recent days in inmates testing positive for COVID-19, with the overall total approaching 17,000 inmates since the pandemic started, according to numbers posted Monday on the state Department of Corrections website.

The numbers showed an additional 246 inmates had tested positive since a Friday count and that an additional 324 inmates tested positive during the past week, according to the department.

In all, 16,944 inmates have tested positive. At least part of the recent increase came at Walton Correctional Institution, where 315 inmates were reported to have tested positive as of Monday.

Department reports last week showed that hundreds of inmate test results were pending at the Northwest Florida prison. Since the pandemic began, at least 180 inmate deaths have been linked to COVID-19.

The department also reported Monday that 3,540 corrections workers have tested positive, an increase of eight from a Friday count.
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