SEAGOVILLE, Texas — FCI Seagoville has been the hardest hit federal prison in the nation by the COVID-19 pandemic with over 72% of its population testing positive for the coronavirus, this according to data released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
FCI Seagoville, a low-security federal correctional facility, houses 1,760 total inmates — 115 of those at an accompanying minimum-security satellite camp.
The facility is reporting 1,276 inmates positive with COVID-19 and three inmate deaths. Those deaths were reported on Tuesday, July 28, 2020; July 25, 2020; and July 16, 2020. Another 14 staff members have tested positive, according to BOP.
In comparison, this is more than double the positive cases reported at the second hardest hit facility in the nation — the Carswell FMC in Fort Worth, Texas, which is reporting 531 positive cases among its 1,351 inmates. This facility is reporting three COVID-19 deaths among inmates.
The Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, an administrative-security federal medical center which houses 1,328 inmates, has reported 12 inmate deaths — the second most in the nation.
After a surge of cases earlier this year, Attorney General William Barr issued a memo instructing federal prison facilities to evaluate inmates suitable for home confinement. Since that March 26 memo, BOP has placed 7,141 inmates on home confinement, according to the BOP.
"The Bureau of Prisons is carefully monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus," reads the BOP's website. "As with any type of emergency situation, we carefully assess how to best ensure the safety of staff, inmates and the public."
"We are deeply concerned for the health and welfare of those inmates who are entrusted to our care, and for our staff, their families, and the communities we live and work in," read a statement, in part, from the BOP. "It is our highest priority to continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities."
"The majority of inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic (positive with no symptoms) and do not require the level of care offered in a hospital setting," continued the statement.
The bureau says it is following all CDC guidance and that inmates tested positive for COVID-19, or are symptomatic, are isolated and provided treatment.
Nationwide, the BOP is currently operating under modified operations plan which, among other things, prohibits social visitations, increases inmate telephone system minutes, suspends inmate internal movement with limited exceptions, and is providing additional health screenings for inmates, staff, volunteers, and contractors.