MDOC: 19 COVID-19 cases at Muskegon prison

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The Muskegon Correctional Facility is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The concern is that it is spreading not because of the inmates but rather because of staff members coming in and out of the facility.

The Michigan Department of Corrections has a low number of cases overall: There were 25 considered “active” as of Monday. Cases from the Muskegon Correctional facility make up the majority of those cases, with two staff members and 17 prisoners testing positive in past week and a half.

“It’s very likely that we will see more positives and we will deal with those,” MDOC spokesperson Chris Gautz said.

MDOC says it has been doing its best to stop the spread of the coronaries within the prisons, testing every single inmate earlier in the outbreak, releasing some earlier to minimize prison populations, enforcing masks, implementing social distancing and limiting transfers.

“Really locking those down,” Gautz said.

Normally 2,500 prisoner are transferred every month. Instead, there have been 3,000 total transfers since March. The vast majority have been COVID-19-related, meaning they were transfers of prisoners with the virus to a designated correctional facility for isolation.

“That’s really helped limit it (the spread),” Gautz said. “So really the only entrance in and out of our facilities on a daily basis is our staff.”

That may be the source of the newest outbreak at the Muskegon Correctional Facility.

“We are certainly going through that when we look at the employee positives. We look at where they’ve been, who they are in contact with. So we have a pretty good idea, but we want to do more investigation so that we can really be certain,” Gautz said.

MDOC says it will have a better grasp on how big the outbreak is in Muskegon in the next few days.


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