42 inmates test positive for COVID-19 at Sanford correctional facility

A staff member reported not feeling well before inmates were tested

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Forty-two inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford, according to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office said the facility is implementing more procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Deputies said a staff member reported not feeling well and tested positive for the virus.

Investigators said they decided to test the inmates in the pod where the staff member worked.

Forty-five COVID-19 tests were administered and 42 tests came back positive.

Most of the inmates are asymptomatic, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A second housing unit has been locked down due to an inmate not feeling well, according to deputies.

Inmates in this unit are also undergoing testing, according to investigators.

Here are the procedures in place:

  • 24-hour cleaning staff
  • Two masks issued to each inmate
  • further collaboration with the Florida Department of Health for increased testing and health protocols
  • New inmates who refuse to take a COVID-19 test are placed in isolation for up to 14 days. The inmates are medically monitored
  • Court appearances will continue to be held virtually

Crews are isolating inmates and staff as needed, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said any staff member who has been in contact with the employee who tested positive are self-isolating at home until they show a negative test result.

Investigators said the results from the second pod will be provided at a later time.


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