More Than Half of Inmates in Michigan Prison Test Positive for COVID
Since the COVID-19 outbreak came stateside, we have heard stories of how quickly the illness can spread in places like correctional facilities. With personal space among inmates being nonexistent and overcrowding being a problem in many prisons, it's very difficult for anyone, staff or otherwise, to maintain safe distances from each other. It was only a matter of time before the Michigan Department of Corrections announced an outbreak within one of their facilities.
According to an article from MLive, out of the 1,387 inmates at the Saginaw Correctional Facility in Freeland, 774 have tested positive for the virus. That is more than half. 118 members of staff have also tested positive.
A report from an ABC affiliate states that the facility had done a good job of keeping the virus in check until the Thanksgiving holiday. That's when, not only Saginaw Correctional but the whole county, saw a steep rise in cases.
At the beginning of the outbreak, many correctional facilities around the country were releasing some non-violent or petty criminals to house arrest to make a possible spread more manageable. As a result of this practice, several prisons found inmates attempting to catch the coronavirus on purpose thinking that a positive test result would be a get out of jail free card. It, of course, was not. This practice did see some facilities pivot to testing all inmates upon their arrival at the prison as a way to keep an outbreak from happening, and also to quell any attempts at inmates trying to catch or spread the virus.
As for Saginaw Correctional, the staff is doing their best to contain the virus and have continued hygiene and sanitation protocols.