Seventeen people have been tested for coronavirus in five Ohio prisons – 13 results were negative and the rest are pending, and those inmates are in isolation. Those numbers come from a new daily update that the state is now providing on testing in prisons and youth facilities.
The American Civil Liberties Union 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 Marysville.
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.