After a slew of Hamilton Correctional Institution prisoners tested positive for covid-19, the total number of cases in Hamilton County reached 134 as of Thursday, according to health officials.
The Florida Department of Health in Hamilton County on Thursday confirmed 46 new cases among inmates at the prison and two involving local residents, bringing the tally up to 134 cases countywide.
The prison has become a hot spot for the virus, with 112 inmates confirmed infected, according to the most recent data available from the Florida Department of Corrections.
The FDOC tally for inmate-related cases at HCI remained unchanged between noon Wednesday and noon Thursday. The Department of Health keeps its own records, so it’s not clear whether the 46 new cases reported by health officials on Thursday were already accounted for in the FDOC numbers or had yet to be included.
The two Hamilton County residents who tested positive were both elderly women, ages 75 and 84.
The Department of Health’s Hamilton County office is conducting a contact investigation to identify and notify individuals who need to self-monitor for symptoms over a 14-day period.
“Contact investigations are a critical way for staff epidemiologists to track and prevent the spread of disease,” the department wrote in a statement.
Health officials are holding a drive-thru covid-19 testing event in Hamilton County today from 9 a.m. to noon at the White Springs Clinic, 16811 Springs Street. Tests are free for anyone who wants one.
No appointment is needed for today’s testing event, nor does anyone need to show symptoms of the virus, one of the criteria during the early days of the outbreak. A valid ID is necessary.
Testing will also take place from 9 a.m. to noon at Wilson Park in Lake City. The same rules apply.