Broward County inmate dies after being diagnosed with novel coronavirus

3 employees who had contact with inmate also diagnosed with COVID-19

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – A Broward County inmate has died after he was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the Broward Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday.

According to BSO spokesperson Gerdy St. Louis, the inmate was hospitalized and being treated for COVID-19 when he died Tuesday night.

His official cause of death has yet to be determined by a medical examiner.

“In addition, the Department of Detention Command staff was notified of positive results for three members of our team that dealt directly with the deceased inmate,” St. Louis said. “As per protocol, contact tracing was conducted and the appropriate staff members were notified. Guidance provided by the Florida Department of Health and the CDC are being followed.”

No other details about the inmate have been released.

The news comes as controversy has arisen this week over the precautions that are being taken at the Broward Sheriff’s Office amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony held a news conference Tuesday morning, at which time he lashed out at union President Jeff Bell, disputing Bells’ claims that he ignored requests by deputies for more personal protective equipment.

“From the time-frame of Feb. 1 to April 6, we have dispersed over 25,263 N95 masks to our first responders,” he said.

According to the sheriff, 44,773 surgical masks were also dispersed, as well as more than 4,100 bottles of hand sanitizer.

Local 10 News has learned that more than 500 BSO employees have been checked for COVID-19, with 36 people testing positive.

An additional 300 employees are being monitored for coronavirus and 210 have been tested and since returned to work.

The sheriff said five inmates have also tested for the virus and all in-person visitations have ended and have moved to video visitation.

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