Ohio county jail inmate tested for coronavirus

Sheriff Steve Barry said test results for the Summit County inmate are still pending


By Alan Ashworth and Betty Lin-Fisher
Akron Beacon Journal

AKRON, Ohio — A Summit County Jail inmate is being tested for the coronavirus, but results still are pending, Sheriff Steve Barry said Thursday.

"One inmate is being tested," the sheriff confirmed in a phone interview. "We don't know anything further."

Barry said he was attending a meeting with other county officials on how to respond if the inmate tests positive.

The sheriff said he's still working on details about what steps, if any, need to be taken at the jail.

"I would have to see what the results [are]," Barry said. "Right now, we're in a meeting on how to proceed."

The sheriff said he had no further information to release on the case at this time.

Leanne Beavers, clinical director for the Summit County Public Health, said during a media press call Thursday afternoon that public health officials "have not had any confirmation of someone being tested at the jail."

However, Beavers said there is a statewide system that is supposed to alert the health department when a physician is testing a patient and it could be lagging.

The coronavirus scare has prompted at least one high-profile inmate at the jail to request Purell for his cell.

Stanley Ford, who is currently on trial in a capital case involving the death of nine people in fatal fires, made the request. He is being kept in his own cell separate from other inmates.

Summit County Judge Christine Croce said court officials are checking with the sheriff's office to see whether Ford's request for Purell can be granted.

When asked how many people in Summit County are being tested, Beavers said: "It''s changing by the minute. There are tons of people going through private physicians and STAT centers who want to be tested, but they're also being tested for other respiratory illnesses."

To date, no one in Summit County has tested positive for the coronavirus. On Wednesday, officials confirmed a Stark County individual tested positive.

No deaths in the state have been attributed to the coronavirus. In the U.S., there have been 1,302 cases and 38 deaths reported, according to the New York Times.

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©2020 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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