A North Texas federal prison has emerged as the prison with the largest number of coronavirus cases in the nation.
According to federal records updated daily, 37% of inmates at the Federal Correctional Institute in Seagoville have contracted the virus as of Friday afternoon.
Families with loved ones at the penitentiary east of Dallas plan to protest near the prison on Saturday.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Protests are planned across the nation on Saturday to bring attention to growing number of COVID-19 in federal prisons.
The prison in Seagoville houses more than 1,800 inmates.
As of Friday afternoon, 668 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.
10 staff members have also contracted the virus, according to federal records.
“My biggest fear is that COVID will get him,” said Michelle Trevino, wife of a prisoner.
She said her husband has less than a year left of his sentence for conspiracy to distribute drugs and guns but was denied home confinement although he reportedly qualifies.
Trevino is organizing a protest near the prison on Saturday.
“There are people who qualify who’ve done very well, who really want to turn their lives around,” she said.
Prisoners have been complaining to loved ones about conditions inside including being confined to their cells since March, their food quality and say an air conditioning system has broken.
“He’s hot. He says it feels like it’s about 110-degrees,” said Trevino.
Asked how she responds to those who would have little to no empathy for her husband or anyone else in federal prisons, Trevino responds:
“Honestly, I get it. I understand where they’re coming from,” she said. “I know how it must look to say hey, just let them out! But that’s not what we’re saying at all and I don’t think it’s pointless to be a voice for them because it’s that bad in there for them. I mean, it really is.”
Trevino said their fight is not against prison staff but a system she said is inhumane.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons said they’ve begun additional testing of asymptomatic inmates nationally to help slow the spread of the virus.
NBC 5 reached out to the employee’s union but has not heard back.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.