10 Ohio inmates, 27 prison workers test positive for virus

State

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ten Ohio inmates at two prisons and 27 staff members at four prisons have now tested positive for the coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday. He also authorized members of the Ohio National Guard to help officials at a federal prison where seven inmates tested positive and one of three inmate deaths was attributed to COVID-19 so far.

A look at coronavirus-related developments in Ohio:

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CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES

Five inmates at Marion Correctional Facility and five at Pickaway Correctional Fictional in central Ohio have tested positive for COVID-19. DeWine said 27 staff members at four prisons, but most at Marion, also tested positive. Marion and Pickaway are under full quarantines, as is the Franklin Medical Center in Columbus following the transfer of a Marion inmate there. One inmate in Toledo is in isolation pending testing results.

“It’s been out in the general population; it’s been slow getting into the prison,” said DeWine, who’s looking at which nonviolent inmates could be released to provide more space. “Once it gets into a prison, it’s like every other group of people. It takes off.”

DeWine authorized 26 members of the Ohio National Guard to go into the federal prison in Elkton in eastern Ohio to help now that seven inmates there have tested positive. Of an additional three Elkton inmates who died, one death has been attributed to COVID-19 and tests are pending on the other two, said guard spokeswoman Stephanie Beougher.

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CASES

More than 4,400 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 142 people have died, with more than 1,200 hospitalizations as of Monday, according to the state health department. One in every five cases is a health care worker.

Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said the state is analyzing why more men are dying than women so far — 64% compared with 36% — a phenomenon being seen elsewhere.

The state plans to start random coronavirus testing to better determine how widespread the virus is in Ohio, Acton previously said. Acton said Monday her modeling predicted a peak in Ohio between later this month and May 5.

A 54-year-old woman in Shelby in north-central Ohio called her five days recovering in the hospital from COVID-19 “a very frightening experience,” the Mansfield News Journal reported.

For most people, COVID-19 displays mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can be more severe, causing pneumonia or death.

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CARE

DeWine named six facilities that will be converted to health care facilities if needed: the Dayton Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Seagate Convention Center in Toledo, Case Western University’s Health Education Campus in Cleveland, and the Covelli Convention Center in Youngstown.

In Chillicothe in southern Ohio, a 17-year-old student at Unioto High School is using a 3D printer to make protective masks for health care workers at Adena Regional Medical Center, according to the Chillicothe Gazette.

The Blade reported that the president of the Lucas County Health Board is sounding the alarm about patients from surrounding states overwhelming Ohio hospitals if care isn’t coordinated among governors.

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ECONOMY

Ohio’s budget office said March revenue dropped 10.5% below estimates, or $159 million less than predicted.

Honda, with about 8,000 manufacturing employees in Ohio, extended its production shutdown through May 1 nationally.

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder named 24 lawmakers to a bipartisan task force studying steps the House can take to speed economic recovery from the pandemic.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is working with food trucks to give truckers traveling in Ohio more options for food with many restaurants closed, said director Jack Marchbanks.

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ABORTION

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals left in place a federal judge’s order allowing surgical abortions to continue as needed during the pandemic, despite the state’s position they constitute elective surgery and should be banned.

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RELIGIOUS SERVICES

The pastor of Solid Rock Church in Monroe in southwestern Ohio lashed out at critics of the church’s refusal to stop in-person services, saying the church is following social distancing practices, increased hand sanitizing stations and is encouraging seniors to watch online, according to the Dayton Daily News.

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THE NEW NORMAL

Toledo police arrested a man early Sunday for violating the governor’s stay-at-home order after he was warned twice to leave a house party and then was found at another one, The Blade reported.

Fremont and Maumee have closed access to the Sandusky and Maumee rivers respectively over concerns of large numbers of anglers gathering during the current walleye spawning run. The Ohio Division of Wildlife temporarily suspended the sale of out-of-state hunting and fishing licenses.

A distillery in Fairborn in southwestern Ohio has converted $100,000 in rum to hand sanitizer for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, according to the Dayton Daily News.

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Associated Press writer John Seewer in Toledo contributed to this report.

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