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Johnson Statement on FCI Elkton

Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement regarding the situation at the federal correctional institution at Elkton:

Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement regarding the situation at the federal correctional institution at Elkton:

Since first hearing reports about deteriorating COVID-19 conditions at the Federal Correction Institution in Elkton, located in Columbiana County, late last week, I’ve spoken with the officials at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Department of Justice, Governor DeWine and his team, the warden at Elkton, the Ohio National Guard and local hospitals treating patients from the facility.  As of today, 23 inmates and 2 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus, several tests are pending, numerous inmates are in local hospitals (some of them on ventilators), and there have been 3 deaths.

We've got to protect the staff and inmates at Elkton from the COVID-19 outbreak, and right now that facility is like a petri dish, a breeding ground for the virus.  Staff members are coming home to their families and communities after their shifts, and inmates are in close proximity to each other with limited means to isolate or quarantine.  And, the hospitals in the region run the risk of being overwhelmed if the outbreak isn’t stopped in its tracks. These hospitals, some of them very small rural community hospitals, need to be ready in case there is a sudden outbreak in their own local communities; and, they must have the capability and capacity perform their regular duties.  But, we have a moral responsibility to protect the health and safety of both staff and inmates at the Elkton facility…and, that’s exactly what we are going to do.

Governor DeWine has called out the Ohio National Guard to help, and the US Army Corps of Engineering is also lending a hand to combat the virus in this very unique environment.  Hospitals throughout the region are pitching in to make sure no single hospital is overwhelmed beyond their capacity to handle.  In addition, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is also actively involved to halt the influx of more inmates into the facility.  I’m monitoring this situation daily, but with this “all hands on deck” approach, I expect we will begin to see some improvement there shortly.

Thanks to everyone involved…this is definitely a team effort.

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