Marion County sees increase in COVID-19 cases

VIDEO: Marion County sees increase in COVID-19 cases

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — During the past seven days, the number of COVID-19 cases in Marion County has spiked, and according to the Marion County Department of Health, it has een an increase of more than 1,500 cases.

WFTV has learned that the majority of those cases came from correctional institutions.

“We’ve had just over 200 inmates test positive,” said Paul Bloom, a spokesperson for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. “The number was like 232. We retested about 190 of them this week alone, and about four of those came back positive.”

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Bloom also said 14 staff members tested positive. He said only about 20 people in all had symptoms.

Bloom said the reason behind the spike in corrections is that “when we’re testing, we’re not testing a few people at a time, we are testing wide swaths of folks so you get back hundreds of results back at once.

The sheriff’s office says that the agency and prison officials share information about COVID-19 best practices.