FDC announces over 1,000 inmates are COVID-19 positive at Columbia Correctional Institution

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 5:14 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida Department of Corrections says of the nearly 2,200 inmates at the Columbia Correctional Institution, 1,216 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

“The great majority of inmates at Columbia CI who have tested positive are showing mild or no symptoms of the virus. For those that do require an elevated level of medical care, our health care professionals continue to go above and beyond to provide outstanding medical attention,” said Secretary Mark Inch. “Working in tandem with our security staff, they are ensuring that inmates receive the care they need while still fulfilling FDC’s important public safety mission.”

FDC says in addition to “measures already in place,” to protect inmates, the following has also been enacted:

  • Columbia CI transitioned to providing all services including medical services and meals to inmates within their housing units.
  • All inmates are being monitored by health services staff and temperature checks are being conducted daily.
  • Institutional response teams have been activated to address emerging needs.
  • FDC has initiated broad-based testing at the correctional institution. All inmates and staff at Columbia CI have been offered tests.
  • All staff and inmates have been issued and are required to wear cloth face coverings. Staff has the option of wearing an FDC-provided cloth face covering, their own approved personal cloth face-covering/medical-grade mask or obtaining a surgical-grade mask from the institution.
  • Rigorous cleaning throughout the institution was already in place and has been heightened as a result of the test results.
  • Additional surgical-grade masks, N95 masks, and Tyvek suits are available for proper PPE utilization by staff treating inmates. Additional PPE’s to include eye protection, shoe covers, and caps are also available and additional supplies are on standby for distribution if needed.
  • All inmates with a positive test result have been placed in medical isolation.
  • Inmates within the facility are receiving appropriate medical care and treatment of symptoms.
  • Inmate transfers to and from the facility have been temporarily suspended.
  • 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.

For more information on the FDC’s response to COVID-19, click here.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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