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FDOC 'closely monitoring' Liberty County prison after COVID-19 cases triple

As of May 7, the Liberty County Correctional Institution has 174 positive cases of coronavirus, giving it the highest number of cases at a prison in the state.
As of May 7, the Liberty County Correctional Institution has 174 positive cases of coronavirus, giving it the highest number of cases at a prison in the state.(WCTV)
Published: May. 8, 2020 at 8:43 AM EDT
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By: Brandon Spencer | WCTV Eyewitness News

May 8, 2020

LIBERTY COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) — The skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases in Liberty County can be attributed to the prison there.

Since Saturday, May 2, the number of positive cases at the Liberty County Correctional Institution has tripled. The rapid rise in cases prompted questions from the community about how the Department of Corrections is handling the outbreak.

As of May 7, the Liberty County Correctional Institution has 174 positive cases of coronavirus, giving it the highest number of cases at a prison in the state.

, 167 inmates and seven staff members are infected. That's an increase of more than 100 positive cases since Saturday, May 2.

WCTV reached out to FDOC to ask how this spike happened and what they're doing to stop the spread of COVID-19 in state prisons. FDOC referred us to a

that laid out their prevention methods.

These methods included the suspension of inmate transfers and a mandate telling inmates and staff to wear surgical grade masks. FDOC says it gave about 7,000 of those masks to the Liberty County prison.

Additionally, FDOC says inmates showing symptoms are to be isolated and given medical care.

WCTV was able to speak to some residents in Bristol off camera about the outbreak. They say the number of cases is concerning; however, they believe they'll be safe as long as they maintain social distancing and take precautions.

FDOC says they are closely monitoring the spread of the virus at the Liberty County facility. The department also said it is committed to ensuring the staff and inmates are getting the appropriate medical care that aligns with national standards.

For more information about coronavirus in Florida prisons,

.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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