The number of COVID-19 cases among Florida prisoners has surpassed 1,600, state corrections officials reported Friday.
The inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, are concentrated in 13 prisons in various parts of the state.
With 301 inmate cases, Homestead Correctional Institution has the highest number of cases in the state. Liberty Correctional Institution in Bristol has 212 cases and Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper has 205 inmate cases.
As of Friday, corrections and health officials have conducted 15,472 tests on inmates, including 1,608 cases where the tests were positive. The total number of tests reported by the department includes retests, making it unclear how many of the state’s roughly 94,000 inmates have been tested at least once for the virus.
As the virus continues to spread within the state prison system, COVID-19 has caused the deaths of 18 inmates as of Friday.
The Department of Corrections told The News Service of Florida on Thursday that 16 inmates who have contracted the virus have been hospitalized because they required a “significant level of treatment.”
Four of the 16 hospitalized prisoners are on ventilators, officials said.