Authorities attempt to contain coronavirus spread at Zephyrhills Correctional Institution

On Wednesday, the department said 150 inmates had tested positive, while 480 had tested negative.

click to enlarge Authorities attempt to contain coronavirus spread at Zephyrhills Correctional Institution
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The Florida Department of Corrections has taken additional steps to curb an outbreak of COVID-19 at Zephyrhills Correctional Institution, where 150 inmates had tested positive as of Wednesday.

The department announced the steps after a week in which cases quickly increased at the facility.

On Dec. 9, the department reported that 584 inmate tests for COVID-19 were pending. On Wednesday, the department said 150 inmates had tested positive, while 480 had tested negative. “The great majority of inmates at Zephyrhills CI who have tested positive presented mild or no symptoms of the virus when they were tested,” the department said in a news release.

“All inmates continue to be provided with ongoing medical care and monitoring by facility health care professionals who follow CDC (federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines for the prevention, evaluation, treatment and management of COVID-19. Working in tandem with security staff, they are ensuring that inmates receive the care they need while still fulfilling FDC’s (the Department of Corrections’) important public safety mission.”

The department did not provide more detailed information about inmates who tested positive, pointing to a need to protect health information.

Steps the department has taken to try to prevent the spread of the disease include providing all services, including medical services and meals, to inmates in their housing units, according to the news release.

Also, temperature checks are being conducted daily, and inmates and staff members are required to wear cloth face coverings.

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