Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Reports Inmate Death from COVID-19 at Correctional Facility In Sanford; Majority of Positive Inmates Asymptomatic

On August 22, an inmate tested positive for COVID and was transferred to a local hospital. The inmate’s health continued to decline despite medical professionals’ best efforts, and he passed away yesterday afternoon.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL – The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a possible COVID-19 related death of an inmate housed at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility (JEPCF) in Sanford, Florida.

According to authorities, the inmate was seen by correctional facility medical staff on August 19, 2020, for congestion and cold symptoms. On August 22, he was tested for COVID after being transferred to JEPCF medical for treatment for a cough and sore throat. On August 24, the inmate was transported to a local hospital as a result of testing positive for COVID-19, and due to his medical background and age. The inmate’s health continued to decline despite medical professionals’ best efforts, and he passed away yesterday afternoon.

The JEPCF implemented additional procedures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 after experiencing an increase in positive cases in mid-August.  As previously reported, two housing units in the facility were locked down after a staff member reported not feeling well, later testing positive for the virus. Out of an abundance of caution, additional COVID testing was conducted.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 2,057 inmates have been tested, in which 95 were positive. The majority of the inmates who tested positive are asymptomatic and were confined within two housing pods. Additionally, 338 corrections staff members were also tested in-house, with 19 returning positive for the virus.


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