FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2020
Contact: FDC Communications
UPDATED - FDC Responds to COVID-19 at Tomoka Correctional Institution
Additional measures taken to protect inmate population and staff
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On April 19, Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) announced new positive test results of COVID-19 within the inmate population at Tomoka Correctional Institution Main Unit. FDC has now received positive results back for 47 inmates who were showing symptoms of COVID-19 at Tomoka CI.
To keep Florida residents, inmates at the facility and visitors safe and aware about the status of the virus, FDC is issuing regular updates as information becomes available at www.dc.state.fl.us/comm/covid-19.html.
In addition to measures already in place to protect inmates, FDC initiated the following actions:
- Tomoka CI transitioned to providing all services including medical services and meals to inmates within their dormitories.
- Institutional response teams have been placed in ready status to address emerging needs.
- FDC coordinated with the county health department to initiate aggressive testing within the facility. All symptomatic inmates are being tested for COVID-19. Additionally, elderly and immune-compromised inmates are given priority for testing.
- All inmates are being monitored by health services staff and temperature checks are being conducted throughout the day.
- All staff and inmates were issued and are required to wear cloth face coverings. These face coverings are currently being produced and distributed to officers and inmates statewide, but distribution at Tomoka CI was prioritized due to the recent positive test results.
- Rigorous cleaning throughout the institution was already in place and has been heightened as a result of the test results.
- Additional Personal Protective Equipment has been sent and staged for utilization by staff treating inmates. More PPE is on standby for distribution if needed.
- All symptomatic inmates within the facility have been placed in medical isolation.
- Inmates within the facility have access to appropriate care and treatment.
- Non-medical inmate transfers to the facility have been temporarily suspended.
- All inmate movement within the facility has been restricted.
- Inmates continue to have access to the canteen through individual orders.
- Inmates continue to have access to communication with family and loved ones through phone and JPay kiosks.
Approximately 60 inmates were transferred from Tomoka CI to Columbia Correctional Institution. These inmates are asymptomatic and have had no contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 inmates. Transferred inmates are in security quarantine and will remain separated from other inmates for at least 14-days and will be actively monitored for symptoms. Ensuring Tomoka CI had additional capacity and flex space was critical to the continued safe operation of the facility. This will allow additional infectious diseases mitigation.
FDC is closely monitoring developments associated with the spread of this disease. FDC's Office of Health Services, institutional medical staff and institutional operations staff work hand- in-hand with the Department of Health to quickly engage and resolve infectious disease outbreaks as soon as they occur.
FDC is committed to ensuring inmates receive appropriate medical care in line with evolving national standards for correctional institutions. FDC has a constitutional mandate to provide health care for all inmates incarcerated in Florida’s prisons.
As Florida's largest state agency, and the third largest state prison system in the country, FDC employs 24,000 members, incarcerates 80,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.