TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the agency.
Secretary Inch had been experiencing mild symptoms indicative of COVID-19 for approximately 24 hours following his return from a statewide conference and a visit to Columbia Correctional Institution.
FDC says Deputy Secretary Ricky Dixon also underwent testing on July 30 and tested positive.
Currently, Secretary Inch is still experiencing symptoms of the virus, but does not require hospitalization, and is self-isolating as indicated by CDC guidelines.
Deputy Secretary Dixon is self-isolating as well, although currently asymptomatic.
“Just like the numerous correctional and probation officers and staff who we’ve asked to stay home and recuperate after a positive test, Deputy Secretary Dixon and I are self-isolating as a result of our recent COVID-19 test results. We both look forward to returning to work as quickly as allowed by CDC guidelines,” said Secretary Inch. “I want to encourage all Floridians to continue protecting our vulnerable residents, practice proper hygiene, wear masks when in close contact with others and practice social distancing to slow the spread of this virus.”
Trace back measures have been conducted and individuals who were in close contact with Secretary Inch and Deputy Secretary Dixon in recent days have been informed of their positive status.
These individuals have been encouraged to take proper precautions and undergo testing.
FDC says they have "a robust continuity of operations plans and will see no degradation in security, public safety or inmate welfare as a result of any member of leadership‘s necessary self-isolation following a positive test."
At this time, the location of exposure to the virus for Secretary Inch and Deputy Secretary Dixon have not been determined.