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67 inmates and 7 staff members at Fort Dodge prison test positive for COVID-19 in last 48 hours

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Ford Dodge Correction Facility

FORT DODGE, Iowa (WHO) -- Sixty-seven inmates and seven staff members at the Fort Dodge Correctional Institute in Iowa have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two days.

Those numbers mean that 167 inmates and 16 staff members have tested positive for the virus thus far.

Loved ones of inmates who are housed at the facility say social distancing there is nearly impossible. Since the facility went on lockdown on July 1, inmates have been confined to their cells for nearly 24 hours a day.

Duties that are normally carried out by inmates like laundry, cleaning services and hot meals have bee halted.

One inmate's girlfriend says the situation has become worrisome.

"Honestly, I'd like to see the population there go down so it is better for them to be able to manage. I get they're inmates. I get they broke the law, but they're still human," said Cassie Miller, girlfriend of Fort Dodge inmate.

One inmate at the facility has died of COVID-19. Another inmate passed away Saturday morning.

An autopsy will be performed on both.

Prison officials say both inmates suffered from pre-existing conditions.

NBC News

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