State Prisons Breeding Grounds For COVID 19

MUSKEGON, MI – A second Muskegon prison is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak, which has infected about a third of its inmates.

The Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility has 352 cases of COVID-19 in inmates, 351 of them considered active, as of Tuesday, Nov. 10, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections. The total number of inmates tested was 1,174.

In addition, 29 staff members at Brooks have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Department of Corrections.

The increase in cases began over the past several days, with the prison reporting 21 inmate cases on Thursday, Nov. 5, according to the MDOC website. That increased to 270 by Monday, Nov. 9.

It had reported its first two cases on Oct. 22 after a staff member tested positive.

Brooks had remained without any COVID-19 cases for months, even as its neighbor, the Muskegon Correctional Facility, dealt with a very large outbreak. That prison, which houses about 1,400 inmates, has had 1,023 cases of COVID-19 and five related deaths, according to MDOC.

COVID-19 cases appear to be rebounding at MCF as well, where there were 104 active cases reported on Tuesday. On Nov. 9, the active cases there numbered 29. Staff cases at MCF total 51.

As the infection raged at MCF, Brooks, located across the street, was relatively unscathed. Four staff members had tested positive in May, but that didn’t result in broader transmission, according to MDOC.

An MDOC spokesman did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the Brooks outbreak. A message left with prison administration also was not returned.

Statewide, about 21 percent of prisoners have been infected, with 8,295 cases among 39,371 prisoners, 1,902 of them active cases, according to the MDOC. There have been 74 inmate deaths due to COVID.

This report was days ago… things get worse by the day.

Categories: LOCAL & STATE

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