Home News Dewine to Begin Comprehensive Testing of Inmates in Pickaway Correctional Insitution

Dewine to Begin Comprehensive Testing of Inmates in Pickaway Correctional Insitution


COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Governor DeWine reiterated today that Ohio’s recovery phase will be not start and end overnight.

“We must continue to assume that everyone has this disease because it is not going away until we have a vaccine,” said Governor DeWine. “As we gradually, carefully, and responsibly start to reopen Ohio, it will be important that we all continue to work together to protect each other.”

As Ohio begins to reopen, Governor DeWine stressed the need to balance:

Compliance with public health measures;
Implementation of safeguards in business; and
Protections for the most vulnerable Ohioans.


Comprehensive testing of inmates has begun at Marion Correctional Institution, Pickaway Correctional Institution, and Franklin Medical Center. Ohio is believed to be the first and only state in the country to conduct comprehensive testing in a state prison setting.

With comprehensive testing at these facilities, the Ohio Department of Health expects higher reports of COVID-19 as the testing identifies positive individuals who otherwise are asymptomatic or would recover without a test. For example, the testing of one prison dorm in Marion found that out of 152 inmates, 39 percent tested positive for COVID-19 although they did not show any symptoms.

“While we know coronavirus does pose a specific threat to congregate settings, this comprehensive testing will give us insight on both how to best coordinate response at these facilities, as well as data and insight on how comprehensive testing within a cohort will affect testing numbers,” said Governor DeWine. “I want Ohioans to know that these numbers do not necessarily indicate a new problem at these facilities, but simply wider testing.”

Governor DeWine also announced that he denied 84 commutation requests and approved seven.

As of April 17, 2020 According to CDC Pickaway Corrections Institution is at 179 inmate confirmed cases of COVID-19, 186 people are in isolation, 57 staff members who have reported positive and five deaths (one probable). Correctional Reception Center is reporting 33 positive cases, 33 people in quarantine, and 6 staff members positive.

Pickaway Corrections institution is the only institution in the state that has confirmed deaths of COVID-19.

Two other correction facilities in the state that are seeing surges are Marion Correction with 466 cases between staff and inmates. Franklin Medical Center has 119 cases between staff and inmates.


There are 9,107 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 418 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,424 people have been hospitalized, including 740 admissions to intensive care units.