Daytona Beach, FL - Seven inmates at a Daytona Beach state prison have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the Florida Department of Corrections announced Wednesday. That increased the number of workers and inmates who have tested positive for the virus at Tomoka Correctional Institution to 10.
The prison had zero reported cases Monday. As of Wednesday afternoon, 42 inmates and 58 corrections employees who work at 24 prisons and three probation offices across the state had been diagnosed with the disease.
Blackwater River Correctional Facility, a prison operated by The Geo Group Inc. in Santa Rosa County, had the largest number of reported positive cases. The Milton prison had a total of 41 cases, which include 33 inmates and eight prison workers.
Two inmates who were housed at Blackwater have died due to the virus, according to Jeff Martin, the director of the medical examiner’s office that oversees Santa Rosa County. The inmates, 69-year-old Jeffrey Sand and 84-year-old William Wilson, died on April 9 and April 12, respectively, Martin said. Wilson and Sand appear to be the first two coronavirus-related deaths among the state’s roughly 94,000 inmates.
When asked Wednesday why the two prison deaths had not been disclosed, Department of Corrections officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.