Ohio Prisons Director Tests Positive For COVID

Jul 28, 2020

A member of Gov. Mike DeWine’s cabinet has tested positive for COVID-19. And she heads an agency that’s been ravaged by the coronavirus.

DeWine said the first state agency director to test positive is the head of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Annette Chambers-Smith.

“Director Chambers-Smith was tested on Friday, July 24th, after she began not feeling very well. She received her positive test result yesterday and she called me right after that," DeWine said in his Tuesday press conference.

DeWine said contact tracing has begun to identify anyone who worked at the central office with Chambers-Smith, who hasn’t been there for a week. She hasn’t been inside a prison since June 26.

Several prisons have had outbreaks – two were national COVID hotspots. At least 77 inmates and five prison workers have died of COVID-19, and more 4,400 prisoners and nearly a thousand employees have tested positive.