BARAGA, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan National Guard will test prisoners for the coronavirus in the Upper Peninsula.
The effort will start Monday at the Baraga prison and then move east to five other prisons in the U.P., the Corrections Department said Saturday.
All prisoners will be tested. Results should be known within 48 hours. Roughly 20% of Michigan’s inmates, or 7,500, are in the Upper Peninsula.
“As a CEO who could be calling upon my staff to care for very sick infectious disease patients, I need to have as much information as possible to be prepared for a surge,” said David Jahn of War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie.
At least 41 prisoners and two staff members have died from COVID-19 complications, but no one in the U.P., according to an online tally by the state.
Forty-five percent of 3,700 prisoners tested so far have turned out to be positive for the virus, the department said.
A lawsuit filed in federal court seeks testing of all prisoners and staff as well as protective wear and cleaning supplies.