90 cases of COVID variant identified at correctional facility in Ionia, Michigan health officials say

Officials say positive cases are 88 inmates, 2 employees

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IONIA, Mich. – Ninety cases of the SARS-CoV-2 B117 variant have been identified at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Officials said the COVID-19 variant cases were identified after daily testing of inmates and staff at the facility. The testing began when an employee tested positive of the variant, prompting the Michigan Department of Corrections to conduct daily testing.

In the first group of samples sent to MDHHS, 90 of the 95 tests were found to be positive of the variant. According to health officials, of those 90 cases, 88 are prisoners and two are employees. More than 100 lab results are still pending.

Health officials advise that Michiganders should:

  • Wash hands often.
  • Wear a mask around others.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others.
  • Ventilate indoor spaces.
  • Make a plan to get the vaccine when the opportunity becomes available.

Officials said the number of COVID-19 positive cases at the facility have declined.

Earlier this month, the variant was identified in Kent County after already identified in Wayne and Washtenaw counties. Last week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said there are two confirmed cases of the variant in the city.


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About the Author:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.