GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Officials say three inmates in the Kent County Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
The inmates lived together in the same housing unit and were experiencing mild symptoms this weekend, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities say the inmates, who were part of the jail’s general population, were moved into isolation cells. Their housing unit was also quarantined. So far, the inmates’ cellmates have tested negative.
Officials have identified the kitchen as an area of concern because one of the inmates worked in the kitchen. A contracted civilian kitchen worker also tested positive for the virus.
Kitchen services are providing sack lunch style meals to prevent exposing more inmates. The housing unit where the kitchen inmate workers reside has also been quarantined, the sheriff’s office said.
Officials note the three inmates who tested negative are a tiny percent of the nearly 800 inmate population.
Authorities say it tests all new inmates for COVID-19 upon arraignment. Those who test positive are isolated. Inmates who test negative are moved to complete a 14-day quarantine before entering the general population of inmates.
The sheriff’s office says jail staffers use gloves and N95 masks. In addition, staffers complete a symptom and exposure screening before entering the inmate housing areas.