Local News

Two inmates at a Northwest Florida prison have died as a result of COVID-19, the local medical examiner’s office confirmed on Wednesday.

Florida Department of Corrections officials have kept the inmate fatalities at Blackwater River Correctional Facility secret for nearly a week, despite numerous questions from The News Service of Florida about deaths at the Santa Rosa County prison.

Jeffrey Sand, a 69-year-old inmate, died April 9 from complications related to COVID-19, according to Jeff Martin, the director of the medical examiner’s office that oversees Santa Rosa County.

Blackwater inmate William Wilson, 84, died three days later as a result of COVID-19, Martin told the News Service.

Wilson and Sand appear to be the first two COVID-19-related deaths among the state’s

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