73 Inmates Test Positive For COVID-19 At One Ohio Prison

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Above photo: The exterior of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. Daniel Konik/WKSU.

The COVID-19 coronavirus is hitting prisons in Ohio hard, especially the Marion Correctional Institution, where 73 percent of the inmate population has tested positive for the virus.

The Ohio Department of Health reported Sunday that there are 11,602 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in the state, with 471 deaths. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shared its own numbers, saying that 2,426 inmates in the state’s prison system have tested positive for COVID-19, accounting for 21 percent of all confirmed cases in Ohio.

Most of the cases are at Marion Correctional Institution, where 1,828 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. The prisoners who are not infected by the virus have been placed in quarantine. No prisoners have died of COVID-19. Among prison staff, 109 workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and one has died.

JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, told The Columbus Dispatch that “throughout our mass testing process, we have found many individuals who are testing positive for COVID who are asymptomatic.” Prisoners who need additional medical treatment are being sent to local hospitals, she added, and the Ohio National Guard will soon provide medical support to Marion Correctional Institution.