ELKTON, Ohio (WYTV) – As numbers of COVID-19 cases increase daily at Elkton Federal Prison, protesters rallied outside for the second week in a row Saturday, hoping to have their voices heard.
Connie Childrey’s son is an inmate at the prison. She says he’s afraid he might get sick and not make it out.
Ebony Pickens’ son is also inside Elkton, and she says her son has been symptomatic for three and a half weeks.
“He hasn’t been tested. Currently, he is unable to smell and he is unable to taste his food,” Pickens said.
“The inmates are checked every day,” said Elkton Prison Union President Joseph Mayle. “They are screened every day for any symptoms. If an inmate believes that they are symptomatic, they are instructed to go straight to health services.”
He also says that anyone who is reporting symptoms is being treated immediately and they are put into isolation.
However, they do worry that some inmates aren’t reporting symptoms.
“There are some inmates that refuse to let anyone know they are sick because they don’t want to go into isolation because they want the freedom of going to their wall locker or going to make a telephone call or taking a shower when they want or something of that nature,” Mayle said.
He says that he personally believes there were some actions the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) could have done earlier that may have helped stop the exposure of the virus.
However, he says that his staff and the warden have done everything in their power to make the conditions the best they can be.
“Can I say right now that there is something else that we could be doing that can change the outcome of exposure and the outcome of pretty much running its course? Absolutely not,” Mayle said.
According to the BOP website, 35 inmates and 38 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 and six inmates have died due to the virus.