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Michigan Department of Corrections to test every inmate at Jackson correctional facility


The Michigan Department of Corrections is testing every inmate for COVID-19 at its Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson.

That's after tests of every inmate at another facility found that 80% of infected inmates showed no symptoms when they tested positive. 

M.D.O.C. spokesman Chris Gautz says at Cotton, younger, healthier inmates are responsible for pushing older, sicker inmates in wheelchairs, and getting them to medical appointments for cancer and other diseases.

"We want to get away from the possibility of having somebody who's asymptomatic come into contact with another prisoner in that state so we wanted to know exactly who's positive and who's negative and be able to separate them so we can protect that population."

The Department is also transferring some inmates who've tested positive to a temporary facility in Whitmore Lake. That's closer to the University of Michigan Hospitals in case they need to be hospitalized.

Gautz said they're walking a fine line between not overwhelming smaller local hospitals while not overburdening the U of M Hospital system.