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Nurse at Ohio prison dies from COVID-19

Tina Reeves, 58, a nurse at Pickaway Correctional Institution, is the second prisons’ employee to die during the pandemic


Tina Reeves died Sunday night after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Photo/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

By Catherine Candisky
The Columbus Dispatch

ORIENT, Ohio — A nurse at Pickaway Correctional Institution died Sunday night after being diagnosed with COVID-19 as the outbreak spreads through Ohio prisons.

According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections, Tina Reeves, 58, of Blacklick who worked at Pickaway since 2006, was the second prisons’ employee to die during the coronavirus pandemic. No additional information about Reeves was immediately available.

John Dawson, a corrections officer at Marion Correctional Institution died April 8. Dawson, 55, of Mansfield, had worked at the prison since 1996.

The Marion and Pickaway prisons have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 as the virus rips through Ohio’s penal institutions. A compilation of cases by the New York Times found Marion and Pickaway the top two hot spots in the nation for the coronavirus.

At No. 1 ranked Marion, 2,028 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, more than 80% of the prison population, with four deaths. In addition, 169 staffer have been infected.

At Pickaway, 1,564 prisoners have coronavirus, about three fourths of its popufor lation, and 81 staff have tested positive. Twelve inmates and the one nurse have died.

Meanwhile, 10 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 at the Morrow County jail. Most were immigrants being held on civil immigration violations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Morrow County is one of four Ohio counties to hold ICE detainees.

“For weeks, inmates at the Morrow County jail have been warning family members and friends about filthy conditions, lack of soap and personal protection equipment, and frequent transfers of people into and out of the jail. They felt like sitting ducks for the disease,” said Lynn Tramonte, director of the Ohio Immigrant Alliance.

On Friday, the ACLU of Ohio filed a lawsuit against ICE, demanding release of medically vulnerable immigrants detained in Morrow and Butler county jails.

The Morrow County sheriff, commissioners and health director did not return calls seeking comment.


©2020 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)