23 Ohio death row inmates test positive for COVID-19

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Annette Chambers-Smith, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, poses outside her office Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 file photo in Columbus, Ohio. More than 20 Ohio death row inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak flaring up in just the past week, The Associated Press has learned. Nearly 1,000 staff members have also tested positive, including Chambers-Smith, who announced her diagnosis last week. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s prisons agency says more than 20 death row inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak flaring up in just the past week.

JoEllen Smith is a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. She confirmed the first case on July 24, but by Friday told The Associated Press that the number had reached 23.

Smith says 13 of those were tested based on symptoms and 10 were tested as part of contact tracing and were asymptomatic when tested. Smith says medical staff are monitoring the inmates, who are being quarantined and isolated under DRC coronavirus policy.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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