Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A prison has biggest COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio

Marion Correctional Institution is the site of the biggest coronavirus outbreak in Ohio, driving Marion County to the highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the state, reported the Marion Star.
The situation at MCI is serious enough that Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday called on the Ohio National Guard to assist at the prison. The Guard was previously dispatched to help at Pickaway Correctional.
Here's what we know so far.
The Marion Correctional Institution has become one of the nation's largest hotspots for COVID-19, as advocates for both the correctional officers and the inmates say the state is not doing enough to protect either.
At least 78% of inmates, or 1,950, have tested positive, as of Monday. A total of 154 staff members have been infected, and one guard and one inmate have died. 
Marion County had 1,834 cases of COVID-19 as of 2 p.m. Sunday, according to the Ohio Department of Health, ahead of Franklin and Cuyahoga. Marion County had 103 positive cases on April 14, before the MCI outbreak was reported. 
On March 29, Marion Correctional was the first prison to report a confirmed coronavirus case in a staff member. Five days later, the prison had become the first in Ohio to report a COVID-19 case in a prisoner.
Within 16 days, the cluster at MCI prisoners had ballooned to more than 1,800 confirmed cases. More than 70 percent of the inmates at Marion Correctional have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Overall, the state’s prison system has recorded 2,426 positive results among inmates, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said. That represents 21 percent of Ohio's confirmed COVID-19 cases.
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