July 16, 2020
Contact: FDC Communications
FDC Responds to COVID-19 at Columbia Correctional Institution
Additional measures taken to protect inmate population and staff.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On July 16, Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) announced new positive test results of COVID-19 within the inmate population at Columbia Correctional Institution. FDC received positive results back for additional inmates who were exposed to a COVID-19. At this time, 442 inmates housed at Columbia CI have tested positive for COVID-19. Columbia CI houses approximately 2,281 inmates.
As the health care provider for inmates, FDC cannot provide any additional specifics regarding the unit in order to protect their protected health information.
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 http://www.dc.state.fl.us/comm/covid-19.html
In addition to measures already in place to protect inmates, FDC initiated the following actions:
- Columbia CI transitioned to providing all services including medical services and meals to inmates within their housing units.
- All inmates are being monitored by health services staff and temperature checks are being conducted daily.
- Institutional response teams have been activated to address emerging needs.
- FDC has initiated expanded testing at the correctional institution. All inmates and staff at Columbia CI will be offered tests.
- All staff and inmates were issued and are required to wear cloth face coverings. Staff have the option of wearing an FDC-provided cloth face covering, their own approved personal cloth face covering/medical-grade mask or obtaining a surgical-grade mask from the institution.
- Rigorous cleaning throughout the institution was already in place and has been heightened as a result of the test results.
- Additional surgical-grade masks, N95 masks and Tyvek suits are available for proper PPE utilization by staff treating inmates. Additional PPE’s to include eye protection, shoe covers, and caps are also available and additional supplies are on standby for distribution if needed.
- All inmates with a positive test result have been placed in medical isolation.
- Inmates within the facility are receiving to appropriate medical care and treatment of symptoms.
- Inmate transfers to and from the facility have been temporarily suspended.
- 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.
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.
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.