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Confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Muskegon prison

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Courtesy Michigan.gov
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Officials said Friday that over 200 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at a Muskegon prison.

The Michigan Department of Corrections Friday said that 217 prisoners and staff now have tested positive for coronavirus at the Muskegon Correctional Facility.

Staff that have tested positive are immediately off the job and self-quarantining, and prisoners are being isolated as well.

Chris Guatz is the Michigan Department of Corrections spokesperson. He says, while prisons and jails across the country have dealt with covid-19 outbreaks due to the difficulty of social distancing amongst prisoners, the MDOC has done everything in its power to keep outbreaks to a minimum.

“One of the reasons why they’ve had no outbreaks, or even no positive cases up until about a week-and-a-half ago, is because of all the mitigation measures, and social distancing and requirement of mask wearing by both prisoners and staff now for months,” Gautz said. “But again, as we preach every day to our wardens, to our prisoners and employees, and our message every day, is that this is not the time to become complacent, because it only takes one person who may be an asymptomatic carrier to spread it into our prisons, back onto our staff, and then our staff out into the community…so we have to be really diligent about that.”

Gautz say the virus likely came from a staff member who brought it into the prison where it spread.

Mass testing of prisoners and staff will take place again next week.