FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2020
Contact: FDC Communications
FDC Responds to COVID-19 at Apalachee Correctional Institution
Additional measures taken to protect inmate population and staff
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On May 11, Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) announced new positive COVID-19 test results within the inmate population at Apalachee Correctional Institution. The total number of positive test results for COVID-19 at Apalachee CI as of May 11 is 64.
Apalachee Correctional Institution is comprised of an East and West Unit. Both units have minimal to no interaction between inmates and staff. At this time, expanded testing was indicated at the East Unit. FDC will continue to monitor Apalachee CI West Unit appropriately.
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:
- Apalachee CI transitioned to providing all services including medical services and meals to inmates within their dormitories.
- Institutional response teams have been activated to address emerging needs.
- FDC is coordinating with the county health department to initiate increased testing within the facility. All inmates housed at Apalachee CI East Unit have been offered tests.
- All staff will be offered testing at Apalachee CI East Unit.
- 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. Staff have the option of wearing an FDC-provided cloth face covering, FDC-provided face/surgical-grade mask or their own approved personal cloth face covering/medical-grade mask.
- Rigorous cleaning throughout the institution was in place and has been heightened as a result of the test results.
- Approximately 5,000 surgical-grade masks, 5,000 N95 masks and 600 Tyvek suits were immediately sent to Apalachee CI East Unit for proper PPE utilization by staff treating inmates. Additional PPE’s to include eye protection, shoe covers and caps were also sent and additional supplies are 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.
- Inmate transfers to and from 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.
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 that is 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, the Department of Corrections employs 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates approximately 94,000 inmates and supervises nearly 161,000 offenders in the community.