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Gov. Whitmer signs new orders to prevent spread of COVID-19 at prisons, jails as cases rise

Muskegon Correctional Facility
Posted at 5:50 AM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 05:50:42-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Governor Whitmer signed an executive order over the weekend requiring new COVID-19 protocols at jails and prisons across Michigan.

The order requires jails and prisons to test every inmate for COVID-19 when they enter, transfer, or leave a correctional facility. Whitmer says the goal is to help to protect inmates, correctional officers, and their families as cases continue to rise.

As of Monday morning, there are 396 prisoners in the Muskegon Correctional Facility who have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as two inmates at Ionia Correctional Facility, one at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, one at Michigan Reformatory in Ionia, and 815 inmates at Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater.

See the case counts at all Michigan correctional facilities

The Michigan Department of Corrections says it has tested 37,000 inmates at its facility, and more than 4,300 have tested positive.

The governor is also suspending transfers to facilities that have yet to adopt these new rules, giving them until September 8 to comply with her executive order.

"By reducing the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails, we protect corrections officers and their families, incarcerated people, and the whole community," Whitmer said.

The Michigan Department of Corrections say it is continuing to test in the prison every day.