ELKTON, Ohio (WKBN) – The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that two inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton have tested positive for COVID-19.
Joseph Mayle, president of the Law Enforcement Officers Union, said there is a lot of anxiety among his 300 members because of how prison officials are handling the situation.
Along with the two who have tested positive, Mayle said there are also 65 inmates isolated because they are showing respiratory symptoms similar to the coronavirus. They have not been tested yet.
Mayle said the prison only has three tests for the 2,500 inmates. He wants more testing kits.
Mayle also said other prisoners are still being brought into the prison, but he wants that stopped unless they’ve tested negative.
He also wants the prison to allow officers to take time off with pay and not use their sick time when they feel they need to self-quarantine.
“Even if a doctor tells you that you may have come in contact and you need to self-quarantine, that they’re not going to give you the leave for it, and if you’re not going to come to work because you’re going to self-quarantine, then we’ll give you sick leave. You can take sick leave but we’re not going to give you any leave to conduct it,” he said.
Mayle said there are law enforcement officers at Elkton who do not have 14 days of sick leave and can’t afford to go two weeks without a paycheck. He says if they’re self-quarantined, they should be paid.
We contacted the Federal Bureau of Prisons for more information, but they would only confirm the two cases. They did say, however, that they will continue to update their dashboard at 3 p.m. every day with the latest COVID-19 data from the BOP’s Office of Occupational Health and Safety.
As of Monday afternoon, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that 28 inmates and 24 staff members at prisons across the country have tested positive for the coronavirus.