COVID-19 cases soar among prison workers

Coronavirus inside jail cell, quarantine concept. 3D rendering
As of Friday, 754 prison workers had tested positive.

The number of Florida correctional workers who had tested positive for COVID-19 climbed to 754 on Friday, according to data released by the state Department of Corrections.

The data showed an additional 132 correctional workers had tested positive for the disease since Monday.

While workers at dozens of prisons have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a handful of prisons are experiencing a spike in cases among employees.

For example, Dade Correctional Institution and South Florida Reception Center each had 84 worker cases as of Friday; South Bay Correctional Facility had 66; Homestead Correctional Institution had 39; and Everglades Correctional Institution had 35.

Corrections officials maintain no department employees have died from complications of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. But two employees of contractors who work with the department have died following positive COVID-19 test results, department spokeswoman Michelle Glady confirmed to The News Service of Florida last week.

As COVID-19 continues to spread in the prison system, the pandemic is exacerbating low staffing levels at prisons, according to Florida Police Benevolent Association Executive Director Matt Puckett.

In late June, the department reported 2,134 vacancies across the state. The number does not account for officers who are out on sick leave during the pandemic, Puckett said.

In addition to worker cases, the department on Friday reported that 2,497 inmates had tested positive for the virus. Twenty-nine inmates had died from complications of COVID-19 as of Friday, an uptick from 25 reported inmate deaths on Monday.

News Service Of Florida

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.


  • Carley Stimson

    July 10, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    We must protect our Prisoners this is so out of control and no on seems to care. Especially Governor De Santis. PRISONERS LIVES MATTER!!!

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 11, 2020 at 5:26 am

    Duffus Desantis treats these humans as expendable! Just like Duffus Desantis treats all the humans in Florida! May god have mercy on your rotten soul Desantis!

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