Five employees, four inmates test positive for COVID-19 at Milton prison


MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — A week after three employees tested positive for COVID-19 at Blackwater River Correctional Facility, more employees and now inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Blackwater, which is a prison privately operated by The Geo Group Inc., has five employees and four inmates who have tested positive, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

The following information is from the FDC’s website on how they respond to confirmed positive COVID-19 cases:

FDC’s Office of Health Services, institutional medical staff and institutional operations staff work hand-in-hand with the Florida DOH to quickly engage and resolve infectious disease outbreaks as soon as they occur. FDC’s primary goal is ensuring the health, safety and security of FDC staff and the inmates in our care and custody.

If an inmate presents to medical with symptoms indicative of COVID-19, medical staff will place the inmate in medical isolation, pending DOH testing.

With every potential and/or positive case of COVID-19, FDC works closely with the local health department to conduct a trace-back contact investigation and determine if additional staff or inmates need to be tested due to close contact risk factors. This investigation will also determine the need to place inmates on varying levels of restricted movement.

Staff members who test positive for COVID-19 will not return to work until a full recovery is documented by a medical professional and DOH and CDC guidelines are followed.

If it is determined that a COVID-19 positive employee has not had contact with the inmate population, the inmates will not be placed in medical quarantine.

Symptomatic inmates will be placed in medical isolation, and FDC will immediately engage with the county health department. The county health department will make a determination on testing.

The inmate will not be allowed to move in and out of their dormitories until they have been medically cleared by an onsite medical professional.

Only essential staff will be allowed to enter the institution and no inmates will transfer in or out.

While inmates are in medical quarantine, they still have access to washrooms, showers and medical care. Meals are provided to the inmates within their housing units.

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is eerily quiet. Closed now for almost three weeks, the animals are hungry to see people again while the keepers are making sure they are cared for and healthy during the pandemic.


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