Deportation Detroit ICE Justice

Morrow Co. Responds to Having 100% COVID-Positive Jail

In response to the Ohio Immigrant Alliance report about the multiple ways Morrow County Correctional Facility (MCCF) violated its Infectious Disease Control Plan and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) National Detention Standards, causing the jail to become 100% COVID-positive, the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office and Health District issued a joint press release today.

They take issue with the 100% COVID-positive figure, saying that the infection rate was actually 61.44%. Lynn Tramonte, Director of the Ohio Immigrant Alliance, clarified this point: “The thing is, once the infection rate reached a threshold number, MCCF and ICE stopped testing. There was a presumption that the entire jail was infected, so there was no ‘need’ to waste scarce tests confirming this. You cannot claim a 61% infection rate unless you tested 100% of the population, and they did not. What the jail did do was to stop isolating ‘sick’ people from ‘healthy’ people and move everyone back into general population, something that is only done when it is believed that everyone is infected.

“Morrow County is attempting to gaslight the public, but we know the truth. By failing to provide clean facilities, access to good hygiene and proper nutrition, adequate spacing, isolation of new inmates, and a long list of other infectious disease control protocols, County leadership allowed the jail to become a COVID hotspot. They say they are ready to take in new inmates, but they haven’t fixed the underlying problems that caused the 100% infection rate in the first place. In a few months time, the jail will be infected again. If County leadership won’t step in and close the jail, then the state and federal government need to do so. Morrow County Correctional Facility is its own public health crisis,” Tramonte continued.

Read the press release from Morrow County here: Joint PressRelease_MCSO MCHD_6.8.20