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2 Ohio corrections officers die after testing positive for COVID-19

Officials confirmed that COs Steven Cook and Mark Jones died from the novel coronavirus

By Seth A. Richardson

CLEVELAND — Two Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction officers died after testing positive for the coronavirus as cases in the state have surged in recent weeks, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday.

During a press briefing, DeWine offered his prayers to the two officers and their families.

One of the officers was Steven Cook, a corrections officer who worked at the Dayton Correctional Institution. The father of two had worked for DRC since 2006. He died Wednesday.

The other, Mark Jones, worked for 27 years at the Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg. DeWine said he was an Army veteran and father of two. He did not give a date for Jones’ death.

Prisons, with their forced congregate living situations, have been a long-running problem area in combating the coronavirus pandemic. More than 100 inmates in Ohio prisons have died as a result of the coronavirus.

Along with Cook and Jones, 55-year-old Marion Correctional Institution officer John Dawson died in April after testing positive for the coronavirus in March.

Coronavirus has spiked exponentially in the past month, with Monday figures from the state showing 5,000 hospitalizations, a 200% increase over the month of November.


(c)2020 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland