Advance Notice: Briefs

State completes testing all prisoners for COVID-19

By: - May 24, 2020 5:11 am
Michigan's Department of Corrections

Department of Corrections | Susan J. Demas

The Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) also issued an update on its large-scale COVID-19 testing efforts.

Starting mid-April, the DOC partnered with the Michigan National Guard to test every prisoner at the state’s six prisons in the Upper Peninsula.

After concluding that process in just five days, the department turned to Michigan’s lower peninsula on May 11 and has been testing two to four facilities every day since then.

As DOC spokesperson Chris Gautz had told the Advance earlier this week, that testing was completed Friday. Gautz told the Advance that Michigan could be the first in the country to test every single prisoner at its state-owned correctional facilities for COVID-19.

“While the final results will likely not be known until next week as the labs process all of the results, so far, out of 38,130 prisoners who were tested at its 29 prisons, there are 3,263 prisoners who have tested positive, 18,316 who have tested negative, with 16,551 pending test results,” a Friday statement from the DOC reads.

The department also plans to go back and retest all previously positive cases. Gautz did not respond to an inquiry about how much the process will ultimately cost the department.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).