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Department of Corrections announces first prisoner to test positive for Covid-19

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The first Michigan prisoner has tested positive for Covid-19

The state announced steps earlier this month to keep the virus out of its prisons - including banning any visitors.

They said if the virus reached a facility it could spread quickly.

The prisoner had been housed at the Kinross Correctional facility in Chippewa county. The Michigan Department of Corrections said the man was moved from Kinross to a local hospital on March 11 for medical treatment unrelated to coronavirus.

Chris Gautz is a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections. He said it’s impossible to know if the prisoner contracted coronavirus while in prison - so the department is taking precautions.

“We’re certainly identifying individuals that he may have had close personal contact with,” Gautz said. “Again, it was almost two weeks ago since he’s been inside the facility. He still remains at the hospital and he will not be brought back to Kinross.”

Once the hospital releases the inmate, Gautz said he will be held at an isolation facility in Jackson. 

Staff who were in contact with the man have been put on a 14-day quarantine.

“There were a number of officers that were overseeing custody of this prisoner for those roughly two weeks. Those staff members have been contacted and letting them know that they will have to self-quarantine for 14 days as well.”

Unrelated to this case, three Department of Corrections Employees have so far tested positive for the virus, one in the Thumb.