Coronavirus In Ohio: State To Release Daily Prison Testing Data

Mar 27, 2020

Nineteen people have been tested for coronavirus in four Ohio prisons, with 15 results coming back negative and the rest pending. Those inmates are in isolation.

The numbers come from a new daily update that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections is now providing on testing in prisons and youth facilities.

The ACLU of Ohio had asked for those daily numbers. Spokesman Gary Daniels said many people come into overcrowded jails and prisons with health problems, so COVID-19 could easily spread.

“We practice isolation, social isolation, social distancing. Good luck doing that in a prison or jail environment – it’s very difficult," Daniels said.

The state announced over the last two days that inmates were tested at the Dayton, Grafton, Lorain and Noble County institutions and the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Mansfield.

Visitors were banned at prisons and jails early in the coronavirus crisis.

While some people at higher risk for COVID-19 are being released from jails, DeWine has said there are no plans to release inmates in prisons.

As of the state's latest report in January, there were 48,697 prisoners in Ohio's prisons, which is about 127% over capacity.