Michigan National Guard to help test all prisoners in Upper Peninsula for coronavirus

The Michigan Department of Corrections plans to test all prisoners in the Upper Peninsula for the novel coronavirus with the help of the Michigan National Guard. 

Kinross Correctional Facility is one the six Upper Peninsula prisons where all inmates will be tested for COVID-19. (Photo: Michigan Department of Corrections)

Testing of about 7,500 prisoners will begin Monday and wrap up May 9, said Chris Gautz, spokesman for the Department of Corrections.

The National Guard will send 15 three-person teams, including medical specialists, to six prisons in the Upper Peninsula, starting at Baraga Correctional Facility. After Baraga, the other prisons to receive testing are Alger Correctional Facility, Marquette Branch Prison, Newberry Correctional Facility, Chippewa Correctional Facility and Kinross Correctional Facility. Prison staff will assist with the testing. 

“We are very grateful for the support from the National Guard in this effort to continue our testing of prisoners across the state,” MDOC Director Heidi Washington said in a news release Saturday. “Their assistance will allow us to accelerate our plans for testing our population, which will help us keep our staff, prisoners and the public safe.”

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