The coronavirus has experienced a major outbreak in one Ohio prison.
According to state officials, the Marion Correctional Institution has accumulated more than 1,800 cases of coronavirus. The Ohio Department of Health has reported more than 1,000 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state Sunday (April 19).
Much of the increase in cases have come from the state’s prison system as more tests have confirmed that inmates and employees are infected.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction reports Ohio’s prison system has recorded 2,426 positive results among inmates, which is 21 percent of the total confirmed cases in Ohio.
73 percent of the total prison cases of COVID-19 come from the Marion Correctional Institution. The remaining 667 prisoners at the facility are currently in quarantine. No deaths have been yet reported among the inmates.
“Throughout our mass testing process, we have found many individuals who are testing positive for COVID who are asymptomatic,” JoEllen Smith, correction department spokeswoman, told the Columbus Dispatch.
Those requiring additional care are being treated at hospitals nearby prisons or at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has pledged to reopen the state’s economy on May 1, however health experts caution that testing must be more widespread before business in the state can fully reopen.
DeWine has received national praise for the preemptive steps he’s taken in flattening the curve of the coronavirus in his state, including cancelling the Arnold Classic Sports Festival, an annual international fitness competition and expo in downtown Columbus, prior to Ohio reporting one case of the disease. He was also one of the first governors to issue a stay at home order.
Photo: Hans Neleman