PICKAWAY – Two Pickaway Institutions that share the same location are reporting more surge in COVID-19 within their walls. In ten days since the first report of a single death now they are reporting 10 deaths, 8 confirmed COVID-19 and 2 suspected, they have a total of 1,718 inmates and staff that have tested positive for COVID-19.
Today at 2 pm Pickaway Health Department reported a total of 1,681 cases in Pickaway county with 1,623 being inmates. Leaving 58 cases that are not within the walls of the institutions, but could be related. A total of 85 cases of COVID-19 have been reported by the CDC from staff members of Pickaway Institution, but all of those staff members do not live in Pickaway County, out of those 85 cases CDC reports that 6 cases have recovered.
According to CDC Pickaway Corrections Institution is at 1555 inmate confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1547 people are in isolation, 77 staff members who have reported positive and 10 deaths (two probable). Correctional Reception Center is reporting 68 positive cases, 70 people in quarantine, and 8 staff members positive.
Pickaway Corrections institution has the most 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 2,168 cases between staff and inmates. Franklin Medical Center has 164 cases between staff and inmates, and is reporting two deaths.
Chillicothe Correctional is now reporting their second case within their walls.
Gov. Dewine said on Friday 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. This is why you see a spike in prison cases.
Governor DeWine reiterated today April, 20th 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.