A staff member at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville tested positive for COVID-19.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections confirmed that much but remained tight-lipped about any other details.
JoEllen Smith from the ODRC had this to say when I asked her what measures were taken to prevent the spread of the virus:
“A contact tracing will conducted and there will be some modifications facility operations and services.”
She declined to say what those modifications might be.
Sources told us there will be mass staff testing on Saturday and Monday to determine if the virus has spread.
Prisons Are Hotspots for Coronavirus
Ohio’s prisons and nursing homes have been the main source of Coronavirus cases in the state. The Ohio National Guard even stepped in at the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton to provide assistance due to the severity of the outbreak. While Elkton doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of ODRC, other Ohio institutions have suffered as well.
We took you inside a prison on COVID-19 lockdown and shared the concerns of family members of inmates. They complained inmates were limited to two meals a day, medical care was limited to those with fevers, and some facilities did not provide, masks, hand sanitizers, or gloves.
Ohio Prison COVID Numbers:
- Nearly 5,000 positive tests in prisons
- 2,000 at Marion Correctional Institution
- 675 staff members positive statewide
- 78 inmate deaths
- 4 staff members have died
Lucasville Safe Until Now
The Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville had been spared by the pandemic until now. There were no reports of either inmates or staff testing positive. Thirteen inmates are currently in quarantine. Sixteen are waiting for COVID-19 test results to come back.
Experts credited the low numbers at Lucasville to its status as a maximum security facility. The institutions that saw large numbers of Coronavirus cases kept inmates in dormitory-like settings where it was much easier to spread the virus.