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Prisons increase COVID testing

"Prison Bars Jail Cell" by JobsForFelonsHub is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Michigan prisons are working to keep inmates healthy as COVID cases increase inside their facilities.

The Michigan Department of Corrections has amped up its already strong coronavirus testing in recent weeks. Officials say theyre finding a high number of asymptomatic infections.

MDOC spokesperson Chris Gautz said, “Right now, we have at least one positive in every one of our prisons, all 29,” he said. “We are doing anywhere for 30,000-40,000 tests every week. So, our numbers of testing has gone up and we have been finding more positives because of more testing.”

Gautz said the Central Michigan Correctional Facility in St. Louis has seen a major increase in COVID cases.

The prison houses more than 2,500 prisoners and 674 of those have tested positive for coronavirus, with 664 currently active.

Gautz said precautions are being taken.

“They have established a number of housing units that are just for positive prisoners that way they cannot get anyone else positive because they are only around other positive prisoners,” he said.

Gautz said statewide, over 9,000 prisoners have tested positive since March with 75 inmates and three staff deaths.