ORIENT – There are currently 4,311 inmates that have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ohio prisons and Pickaway corrections has almost half of those cases, worse there are 46 deaths of inmates in Ohio and Pickaway Corrections have the majority.
In three weeks Pickaway prisons has swelled from only a handful of positive cases to now 1,757 positive inmate cases and 125 staff members, 31 deaths including a nurse at the facility, and two more deaths pending.
CDC a detention facility that shares the same location reports 75 cases of inmates and 18 positive staff members, and are reporting their first death of an inmate.
Dewine reported that some of the people who were reported as positive for the virus were asymptomatic, and 1,296 inmates have recovered.
Dewine said that they closed down visitors in early March and were the 2nd State in the country to lock down our prisons in plan to protect the virus from getting into our correction facilities.
Governor Mike DeWine
.@DRCOHIO: THE REASON WE TESTED EVERYONE IN THREE FACILITIES IS B/C IN MARION WE HAVE A HIGH NUMBER WHO ARE OLDER. FRANKLIN IS A MEDICAL FACILITY. PICKAWAY HAS A DIALYSIS UNIT AND A LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY. THESE ARE POPULATIONS THAT ARE VERY VULNERABLE.
When they started seeing symptoms of the virus in prisons like Marion and Pickaway, Dewine mandated testing everyone because both locations have more older inmates, medical facilities, Pickaway is a dialysis unit and long-term facility. After testing everyone the prisons realized COVID-19 was widespread they found out 80-90% were asymptomatic, so they had to treat the entire system as infected.
Plans went into place giving inmates masks and having inmates laying head to feet, they have separated people into extra spaces within the facility, like chapels, rec rooms, and lunch room spaces to get distance between people.
Smith said the heroes are the staff at these facilities, going into these facilities knowing that the virus is widespread and still doing their jobs. They changed leave hours, they test and check staff members to make sure they are not sick when they go home or come into the facility. She wanted to remind these workers that many hotels are offering free rooms for showering or even to stay there and not go home to bring the virus home to their families.
Governor Mike DeWine
THOSE WORKING AT OUR HOTSPOT PRISONS CAN ALSO GO TO A HOTEL TO SHOWER BEFORE GOING HOME OR THEY CAN STAY THERE AND NOT GO HOME. THAT ISN’T MANDATED, BUT THIS IS OFFERED AS AN OPTION TO HELP PROTECT THEIR FAMILIES.