Michigan’s Branch County borders the Indiana state line just to the south of Battle Creek and Calhoun County.  The Branch County Health Department reports only  48 people testing positive so far for the COVID-19 virus.  The county also reports two deaths connected to the virus. But that’s only part of the story. A small part. The Lakeland State Correctional Facility at Coldwater is reporting big numbers which are recorded separate from the county. At last word, over 600 prisoners at Lakeland are testing positive for the virus. 11 prisoners at Lakeland have died after contracting the virus. But like the majority of virus related deaths statewide, and the nation, those whose deaths are connected to the virus are typically older, and were already being treated for serious medical conditions.  A large portion of the population at Lakeland could best be described as senior or elderly and many have health issues. 31 Corrections officers and staff at the prison are also testing positive.The state is wrapping up testing of everyone there this week. It will begin testing all prisoners and staff this week at the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson. 70 officers and staff at Parnall are testing positive. That’s the most by far coming back positive at any state prison.

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