More infectious COVID-19 variant found in Ionia MDOC facility
Prisoners, staff to begin daily testing
IONIA, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Department of Corrections (MODC) has announced of the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant, believed to be a more contagious form of COVID-19, at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia.
It’s the first known case of the variant inside of an MDOC facility.
Prison administrators have consulted with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) for guidance in how to handle the new variant. Now, all prisoners and employees there will be tested daily for the virus.
“The MDOC will be taking extra steps to identify where this variant is present amongst staff and the prisoner population and we will continue to do everything we can to keep the prisoners, our staff and the community safe,” MDOC Director Heidi Washington said.
MDOC is following the rules set up by MDHHS to combat the disease. Under an Emergency Public Health order issued by MDHHS today, daily testing is required of all employees at a facility where an outbreak of special concern has been declared for at least 14 days.
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