Seminole County inmate with COVID-19 dies, jail officials say

95 inmates tested positive since March

Blurred figures of people with medical uniforms in hospital corridor
Blurred figures of people with medical uniforms in hospital corridor (VILevi)

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – An inmate at the Seminole County jail died Monday at a local hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 more than a week ago, according to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

The John E. Polk Correctional Facility, or JEPCF, inmate was seen by correctional facility medical staff on Aug. 19 for congestion and cold symptoms. About three days later he was tested for the virus after being transferred to JEPCF medical for treatment for a cough and sore throat. The the inmate was transported to a local hospital on Aug. 24 after his COVID-19 test came back positive due to his medical background and age.

Despite efforts at the hospital, the inmate died on Monday.

Seminole County jail officials said they experienced an increase in coronavirus cases in mid-August and implemented additional cleaning and procedures to prevent the spread of the virus.

In August, two housing units in the facility were locked down after a staff member with symptoms tested positive for the virus.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 95 out of a total of 2,057 inmates tested positive for COVID-19. Nearly 340 corrections staff members were also tested in-house, with 19 who tested positive.

The majority of the inmates who tested positive were asymptomatic and confined within two housing pods, officials said.