Nurse Working at Ohio State Prison Dies of Coronavirus

A nurse who worked at a state prison in Ohio has died after contracting coronavirus.

Tina Reeves, who worked at the Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient, Ohio died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) said.

In a post on Facebook, the department said Reeves had been a public servant for 14 years. "It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Nurse Tina Reeves from the Pickaway Correctional Institution [PCI]. Her death was a result of COVID-19," the post said.

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"Ms. Reeves worked as a public servant for the last 14 years. With a heavy heart, we send condolences to her family and loved ones in this most difficult of times."

It added: "As we mourn the loss, but celebrate the life of Tina Reeves, we continue to pray for our staff working everyday to fight the war against COVID-19. Thank you to our staff who are making daily sacrifices to keep Ohio safe." The ODRC has been contacted for additional comment.

Reeves died in the early hours on Monday, her family told WBNS. They believe she caught the virus at work earlier in April.

"Our mother Tina Reeves leaves behind three daughters and 10 grandchildren. There was nothing she would not do for us. She loved to shop, was always smiling and always saw the rainbow in every situation. She loved her job as a nurse at PCI," her daughters said in a statement to the station.

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According to the latest figures from the ODRC, Reeves is the second prison employee to die of COVID-19 in Ohio. The other employee worked at Marion Correctional Institution.

Twenty-three inmates have also died of COVID-19 in the state, including 16 at PCI. Another two inmate deaths at the prison have been recorded as probable COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, 1,485 inmates and 81 employees at the prison are currently positive for COVID-19.

Covid testing
A health professional walks out of a drive-through coronavirus testing site at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio on March 17, 2020 Megan Jelinger/AFP via Getty Images

It comes after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on April 17 officials would start the widespread testing of inmates at state prisons, including PCI.

"While we know coronavirus does pose a specific threat to congregate settings, this comprehensive testing will give us insight on both how to best coordinate response at these facilities, as well as data and insight on how comprehensive testing within a cohort will affect testing numbers," DeWine said at the time.

He added that health officials were expecting the number of cases to rise sharply as asymptomatic individuals—people who are positive for the virus but don't show any symptoms—were identified.

"I want Ohioans to know that these numbers do not necessarily indicate a new problem at these facilities, but simply wider testing."

Ohio has more than 16,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 757 deaths, according to the latest figures from the Ohio Department of Health.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.
Nurse Working at Ohio State Prison Dies of Coronavirus | U.S.