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South Florida Prison Has 11 Inmate Deaths

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At least 11 inmates at a South Florida correctional facility have died of COVID-19, as the death toll in the state prison system continues to climb. A Florida Department of Health report shows that 11 inmates at the South Florida Reception Center in Miami-Dade County have died from the contagious respiratory disease.

The report shows facilities where 59 inmates were housed before they died, though the state Department of Corrections said Thursday that a 60th inmate has died. Other facilities with multiple inmate deaths include Blackwater Correctional Facility, with seven; Dade Correctional Institution, with six; Everglades Correctional Institution, with five; Columbia Correctional Institution, with four; and Suwannee Correctional Institution, with four.

The report also shows that two prison workers have died, though the Department of Corrections has only announced one worker death. The Department of Corrections said Monday that Robert Rogers, a 65-year-old sergeant at Graceville Work Camp in Jackson County, had died. Graceville Work Camp is tied to Jackson Correctional Institution.

The Miami Herald reported that the second corrections employee who died was Joseph Foster, who was assigned to the Florida Women’s Reception Center in Marion County. The prison system has faced outbreaks of COVID-19 at facilities throughout the state, with 9,821 inmates and 1,911 corrections workers testing positive as of mid-day Thursday.