Summit County health officials working to contain cluster of Covid-19 cases at Akron halfway house

At least two dozen clients tested positive at the Oriana House in Akron

COVID-19 Outbreak at Akron Halfway house

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Clients inside a halfway house in Akron say they want out, and want the state of Ohio to come in.

The Oriana House has had 24 clients test positive for the coronavirus, and at least two staff members.

The Summit County Board of Health decided to bring a mobile unit to the site for testing, after one client with other medical issues was hospitalized for the coronavirus, and several others became ill.

Joe Mullet is a client who has been at the facility for about two-and-a-half weeks, after being released from prison.

He tells 19 News that with 14 men sleeping on bunk beds in the same room, using the same bathroom and water fountain, they have nowhere to hide from COVID-19.

According to the Summit County Board of Health Oriana's Terrence Mann Residential Center has the largest outbreak in the county of the coronavirus outside of a nursing home.

Mullet is scared to find out what this means for his health and nearly 50 others still inside. “They pulled all the people out of the dorm that the first case was in and they put those people in quarantine in a hotel room. No disinfecting was done, we weren’t given bleach, we weren’t given Lysol,” Mullet tells 19 News.

Each client was given two masks, but Mullet says there’s no room for people to properly socially distance.

Clients who were allowed to go off site and work during the day are now forced to stay inside the facility.

While Mullet says clients sent to the halfway house from prison were tested for COVID-19, he’s not so sure about others who were assigned to the facility from area courts.

“Everybody has come in contact face to face within two inches of somebody that tested positive for the coronavirus. So a lot of these guys here I can guarantee are positive, but they’re asymptomatic right now,” Mullet said.

According to those housed here everyone housed inside the facility is now on a 14 day quarantine that began Wednesday.

Mullet is begging the county and state departments of health to step in, saying every client assigned here is being rehabilitated and prepared to re-enter society so why not use what he feels is a safer way to monitor them?

"Put people on an ankle monitor where they’re only going to be by themselves instead of close quarters,” Mullet said.

The local and State Boards of Health are expected to meet on Thursday to discuss the outbreak at the Oriana House, and how it will be handled moving forward.

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