Five Staff Members, Four Inmates COVID-19 Positive At Blackwater Prison

Construction on this single-family home in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood has shut down as part of Gov. Jay Inslee’s statewide stay-home order that has hurt the residential housing industry

Figures from the correctional service show 21 inmates tested positive for the virus as of Monday: 12 in Quebec, seven in Ontario and two in B.C.

The Department of Corrections also has also been identifying individuals for furloughs from the prison.

Inslee initially closed schools March 13 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The lockdown means inmates must stay in their cells - where they'll receive essential services, meals and medications - "except for emergency and hygiene purposes", the Vermont Department of Corrections said in a press release Monday night.

Among other things, the suit asks a judge to mandate a social distance of six feet or more between inmates in all of the DOC's facilities.

As part of its ongoing reduction of the overall inmate count, the province's 10 prisons now hold 1,860 inmates, down from 2,184 on March 15, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Stephanie Smith, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union, said her members have concerns about the safety of themselves and the inmates.

In an email Monday evening, Hebert said "individuals who present COVID-19 symptoms and have a known exposure to the virus are tested", but did not provide the number of inmates who had been screened or put in medical isolation at Blackwater.

As the number of COVID-19 cases balloon across the state, corrections workers, inmates and their families have become increasingly anxious about the possibility of an outbreak within Florida's prison system.

There are no confirmed inmate cases of COVID-19 at the prison, though 17 inmates at three other prisons have tested positive for the virus.

Twelve of the 14 prisons are run by the state corrections department.

The 49-year-old man was transported Sunday to a local hospital for examination and rapid COVID-19 testing, which came back positive, said Susan Biller, the Joint Information Center for the Department of Corrections. The inmate has remained in the community medical center since March 27, DOC said.

"Ensuring inmates incarcerated in Florida's prisons receive all medically necessary medical and behavioral treatment is one of FDC's core constitutional responsibilities".

The board is processing exceptional cases as quickly as possible for those offenders who are terminally ill or whose physical or mental health is likely to be affected while in prison, Popa said in a statement.

Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Jeff Brandes urged corrections officials to be transparent about what is going on behind bars in the nation's third-largest prison system.

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