1,000 federal inmates at Texas prison test positive for COVID-19

Of the 1,798 inmates at the Federal Correctional Institute at Seagoville, at least 1,072 have contracted the virus.

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By Alicia Victoria Lozano

Coronavirus infections are soaring at a North Texas federal prison where more than 1,000 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 and at least one inmate has died.

Of the 1,798 inmates at the Federal Correctional Institute at Seagoville, at least 1,072 have contracted the virus. Ten staff members have also tested positive and four have recovered, according to the Federal Bureau of Prison's official count.

Last week, just 668 inmates had tested positive, NBC Dallas reported.

One inmate, 65-year-old James Giannetta, died Thursday from COVID-19, the bureau said. He first tested positive June 26 and was taken to a local hospital two days later after experiencing shortness of breath.

Giannetta, who was serving a 14-year prison sentence on a drug and conspiracy to launder money charges, was eventually put on a ventilator and died on July 16. He had long-term, pre-existing medical conditions, according to the prison bureau.

FCI Seagoville has the largest COVID-19 outbreak of any federal prison in the country, according to the bureau's count. Inmates there have complained to loved ones that conditions have been deteriorating since March, NBC Dallas reported. Prisoners have been confined to their cells since March and the air-conditioning system is not working, according to the station.

Nearly 3,600 federal inmates and more than 300 prison staff have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the bureau's count. As of Friday, 5,434 inmates and 631 staff have recovered from the virus. Ninety-seven federal inmates and one employee have died.

Texas on Friday reached a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic, recording 300,000 confirmed cases. It shattered its single-day record of new cases of COVID-19 with 14,780, and also topped its single-day record of deaths with 149, the latest NBC News tally showed.

It is one of four states, joining California, Florida and New York, that have 300,000 infections.