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Sunday evening (March 29th) the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction confirmed that an officer at the Marion Correctional Institution (MCI) had tested positive for COVID-19.

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According to, MCI is located about an hour north of Columbus and this is the first known positive case among inmates or staff within Ohio’s expansive prison system, where nearly 50,000 people are incarcerated. A press release stated that the officer last worked on March 24 and began feeling symptoms on March 25. A “contact tracing investigation” is now underway at the facility and there will be no staff or inmate transfers in or out for the time being.

ODRC’s Director Annette Chambers-Smith, said in a statement, “We have worked for several weeks implementing changes within our operations to address the challenges presented by COVID-19. Each facility has unique plans in place that address this specific situation. [The infected] staff member is at home recovering and we will continue to work tirelessly to keep our staff and incarcerated individuals safe and healthy.”

As of Sunday, only 20 inmates across Ohio’s 27 adult facilities had been tested. Eighteen of those tests have come back negative. Two are pending. For more information, click here.