LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Corrections said it has tested every prisoner in its system for coronavirus (COVID-19).
The department had been testing symptomatic prisoners since late March and has done more than 1,000 tests. In mid-April the MDOC started mass testing in several facilities to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“When it comes to this virus, testing is critical to knowing exactly what you are dealing with and how to address it,” MDOC Director Heidi Washington said. “The vast majority of the prisoners we found who tested positive had no symptoms and were making it more challenging to control the spread of this illness.”
The Michigan National Guard assisted with testing.
“We simply could not have achieved this goal, this quickly without the assistance of the Michigan National Guard,” Washington said. “Their professionalism, expertise and proficiency were simply invaluable.”
The final results of the tests will not be known until next week due to the time it takes for labs to test the results.
“This was an incredible display of partnership, and we are proud to work alongside the professionals in the Michigan Department of Corrections,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The MDOC support to this mission was flawless, and these efforts will slow the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard Michigan communities.”
So far, out of 38,130 prisoners who were tested at its 29 prisons, there are 3,263 prisoners who have tested positive, 18,316 who have tested negative, with 16,551 pending test results.