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COVID-19 Update: Recovery Phase, Inmate Testing

April 17, 2020

Today, Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ohio, there are 8,858 confirmed cases and 249 probable cases for a total of 9,107 total cases of COVID-19. Additionally, there have been 2,424 hospitalizations with 418 total deaths. Seven hundred-forty have been admitted to ICUs across the state. More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

This afternoon, the governor reiterated Ohio's recovery phase will be not start and end overnight. 

"We must continue to assume that everyone has this disease because it is not going away until we have a vaccine," said DeWine. "As we gradually, carefully, and responsibly start to reopen Ohio, it will be important that we all continue to work together to protect each other." 

As Ohio begins to reopen, DeWine stressed the need to balance:

  • Compliance with public health measures;
  • Implementation of safeguards in business; and
  • Protections for the most vulnerable Ohioans.

Additionally, comprehensive testing of inmates has begun at Marion Correctional Institution, Pickaway Correctional Institution and Franklin Medical Center. Ohio is believed to be the first and only state in the country to conduct comprehensive testing in a state prison setting. With comprehensive testing at these facilities, the Ohio Department of Health expects higher reports of COVID-19 as the testing identifies positive individuals who otherwise are asymptomatic or would recover without a test. For example, the testing of one prison dorm in Marion found that out of 152 inmates, 39 percent tested positive for COVID-19 although they did not show any symptoms. 

"While we know coronavirus does pose a specific threat to congregate settings, this comprehensive testing will give us insight on both how to best coordinate response at these facilities, as well as data and insight on how comprehensive testing within a cohort will affect testing numbers," said DeWine. "I want Ohioans to know that these numbers do not necessarily indicate a new problem at these facilities, but simply wider testing."

DeWine also announced that he denied 84 commutation requests and approved seven.

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