March 12, 2020
Contact: FDC Communications
UPDATED - FDC PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: COVID-19
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 Florida Department of Health (DOH) to quickly engage and resolve infectious disease outbreaks as soon as they occur. FDC is fully prepared to handle any potential cases of COVID-19 within the state operated correctional institutions in Florida.
- FDC has a plan in place and dedicated staff members trained in the prevention and containment of infectious diseases.
- FDC’s Office of Health Services coordinates with the Florida DOH for guidance on any type of outbreak and is closely monitoring new information as it is disseminated from Florida DOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- FDC initiated its Incident Command System in response to this potential threat.
- Precautions are in place at facilities to protect inmates and staff from exposure to flu or any other respiratory illness; preventative measures are being followed per CDC recommendations.
- Education has been provided to staff, inmates and visitors to prevent the spread of any infectious disease, including COVID-19.
- Following the State of Emergency issued in response to COVID-19 in Florida, FDC has suspended visitation at all correctional institutions statewide.
- The visitation suspension will be in effect through April 5, 2020. The decision to reinstate the normal visitation schedule will be evaluated in consultation with the Department of Health.
- Inmates will continue to have access to their loved ones through mail, phone calls and video visitation. Legal visits will not be impacted
- Anyone entering a correctional institution will be screened, and entrance will be restricted if they:
- Have traveled and returned from China, Iran, Italy or South Korea within the last 14 days
- Have signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection such as fever, cough, shortness of breath
- Have had contact with someone who has or is under investigation for COVID-19
FDC is committed to ensuring inmates receive appropriate medical care that is in line with evolving national standards. FDC has a constitutional mandate to provide health care for all inmates incarcerated in Florida’s prisons. This includes preventative health services, dental, mental health treatment, hospital care and treatment of chronic disease.
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.