ACLU seeks inmate release from Morrow jail as coronavirus cases spike
A PSA done by the Ohio Department of Health used mousetraps and ping-pong balls to illustrate the importance of social distancing has gone viral. Wochit
MARION — The ACLU of Ohio is seeking the release of 20 people held by immigration authorities at the Morrow County jail, as a coronavirus outbreak spreads through the 80-person jail population.
A total of 50 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been linked to the Morrow County jail, Morrow County Health District Commissioner Stephanie Bragg said Tuesday. The jail first reported a case of COVID-19 around April 23 or 24, and coronavirus cases have climbed since then, according to court filings.
On Tuesday, the jail held 80 inmates, 47 of whom are detainees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and one of whom is a Marion County inmate, according to the
At one time, Marion County had dozens of its inmates held at the Morrow County jail, but all but one have been released or brought back to the Multi-County Correctional Center in Marion as local jail beds opened up in March.
Bragg, the Morrow health commissioner, would not clarify how many of the 50 positive cases were among inmates, as opposed to corrections staff, and Morrow County Sheriff John Hinton did not return messages seeking clarification by press time.
In an amended complaint filed Tuesday, the ACLU of Ohio asked a federal judge to release 20 immigrants held by ICE, some of whom have underlying medical conditions and who, attorneys argue, are at a heightened risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 now that the jail has become a "hotbed of COVID-19."
飞艇计划app开奖"As public health experts forewarned, the Morrow County jail has become an infected, dangerous place to be," said ACLU of Ohio Staff Attorney Elizabeth Bonham. "There is no way to make this facility safe. Our clients can and should be moved out where they can safely isolate or quarantine, as required, and where they can access care."
飞艇计划app开奖Most of the 20 detainees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the ACLU complaint.
In the complaint, Bonham and other attorneys said that social distancing is impossible in the Morrow County jail, where inmates live in close quarters with beds spaced close together.
"The social distancing that plaintiffs have been denied ... helps minimize the intensity of continued viral load exposure which scientists believe can cause individuals to experience a more dangerous form of the disease," the complaint says. "Their continued confinement with each other increases the likelihood that they will develop a severe form of the virus which can lead to serious injury or death."
飞艇计划app开奖The complaint says six of the 20 men, most of whom are in their 20s or 30s, have asthma or other respiratory problems, while others are listed as having a variety of conditions, including one with a chronic liver condition, one has heart disease, one who is overweight and one with diabetes.
The complaint says the men are all in civil detention and are noncitizens originally from Mexico or countries in Central America, the Middle East or East Africa, according to the ACLU filing.
U.S. District Judge Sarah Morrison previously ordered the release of two other ICE detainees held at the Morrow County jail, shortly after the first case of COVID-19 at the Morrow County jail was reported. Morrison ordered they be placed under quarantine for 14 days and then remain on home detention. Both detainees had medical conditions that put them at greater risk for severe illness if they got the virus, according to court records.
Tweet me @SarahVolp