The number of state inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19 topped 1,000 on Friday, with a continued surge in cases at Homestead Correctional Institution in Miami-Dade County.
The Florida Department of Corrections released numbers Friday that showed 1,033 positive tests involving inmates, up 90 cases from a Thursday count. Much of the increase stemmed from positive tests at Homestead Correctional Institution, which saw its inmate cases go from 166 on Thursday to 231 on Friday.
Nine inmates have died of COVID-19, a number that was unchanged Friday.
The Department of Corrections also said 231 corrections workers have tested positive for the respiratory disease, up from 225 on Thursday.
In addition to measures already in place to protect inmates, FDC states they initiated the following actions at Homestead CI:
- Homestead CI transitioned to providing all services including medical services and meals to inmates within their dormitories.
- Institutional response teams have been activated to address emerging needs.
- FDC is coordinating with the county health department to initiate increased testing within the facility. All inmates housed at Homestead CI have been offered tests.
- All staff will be offered testing at Homestead CI.
- All inmates are being monitored by health services staff and temperature checks are being conducted throughout the day.
- All staff and inmates were issued and are required to wear cloth face coverings. Staff have the option of wearing an FDC-provided cloth face covering, FDC-provided face/surgical-grade mask or their own approved personal cloth face covering/medical-grade mask.
- Rigorous cleaning throughout the institution was in place and has been heightened as a result of the test results.
- More than 42,500 face/surgical masks, 20,000 N-95 (or equivalent) respirators, 4,000 gowns or disposable coveralls, 1,000 pairs of protective eyewear, 1,000 boxes of gloves and a supply of shoe covers and caps are available for staff at Homestead CI in their institutional and regional inventory. The Department is closely monitoring their usage and ensuring Homestead has a consistent inventory of PPE available.
- All symptomatic inmates within the facility have been placed in medical isolation.
- Inmates within the facility have access to appropriate care and treatment.
- Inmate transfers to and from the facility have been temporarily suspended.
- All inmate movement within the facility has been restricted.
- Inmates continue to have access to the canteen through individual orders.
- Inmates continue to have access to communication with family and loved ones through phone and JPay kiosks.
FDC website states they are closely monitoring developments associated with the spread of this disease. FDC's Office of Health Services, institutional medical staff and institutional operations staff work hand- in-hand with the Department of Health to quickly engage and resolve infectious disease outbreaks as soon as they occur.