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Head Of Ohio's Prison Workers Union In Quarantine For COVID-19

The exterior of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, which is not under quarantine right now.
The exterior of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, which is not under quarantine right now.

489 inmates and 184 staff in Ohio’s prisons have tested positive for COVID-19. More than 32,000 inmates in 20 of Ohio’s 28 prisons are under full quarantine. And now the head of the union representing those workers is too.

Chris Mabe of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association said his wife, who works at the Lorain Correctional Institution, has COVID-19.  And he admitted he's not feeling well himself.

He’s been saying there isn’t enough testing, personal protective equipment and staff.

“The department I don’t believe is doing enough and they need to do more. And it’s time to call in the reserves as far as the National Guard to help (coughs) compliment the security inside the institutions. Our people cannot continue to work like this," Mabe said.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says in a statement:

"We are collaborating with our law enforcement and National Guard partners to ensure the safety of our facilities while we address the unprecedented challenges associated with COVID-19 within our institutions.  We are working with the National Guard to train members to assist with mission critical functions at the Marion Correctional Institution.  In addition, the State Highway Patrol is providing perimeter security at the facility.  The National Guard is also providing medic support at the Pickaway Correctional Institution to help manage the increased medical needs at the facility. We are monitoring staffing at all institutions on a daily basis and direct internal staffing resources to different prisons when needed."

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.