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Pickaway Correctional inmate becomes first state inmate to die after testing positive for COVID-19

Pickaway Correctional Institution
Posted at 2:58 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 15:38:22-04

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has confirmed an inmate at Pickaway Correctional Institution has died—making him the first death of a state inmate who tested positive for coronavirus, the governor said during his briefing on Monday.

The inmate had a long-term chronic illness and was tested for COVID-19 before his death.

DeWine announced the Ohio National Guard will begin providing assistance to the medical staff at Pickaway Correctional Institution as there are a number of medical staff out sick due to the coronavirus.

The national guard will provide a triage of support to the medical staff, ranging from taking temps to helping with non-coronavirus cases.

DeWine said he is looking at other ways to keep the staff and inmates safe during this pandemic.

"We have known since this started that we wanted to do everything we could to keep this out of our prisons. That's why we restricted visitation. But quite candidly, we have a large staff going in and out and we knew it was virtually impossible to keep COVID-19 out of the prison. I am convinced we are doing everything we can. Every day I ask is there more that we can do," said DeWine.

Last week, the national guard announced members were still at the federal facility in Alton, in the eastern part of Ohio, assisting staff there. DeWine said testing at the Marion facility was scheduled to begin over the weekend and testing is underway at Pickaway.

On April 10, 14 inmates at the Cuyahoga County jail tested positive for coronavirus, with another four staff members, who work in direct contact with inmate, testing positive.

RELATED: Number of deaths and cases in Ohio continues to rise gradually

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