MUSKEGON, MI – Coronavirus entered a second Muskegon prison, months after Muskegon Correctional Facility became home to the world’s worst prison epidemic in the state.
Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Institution at 2500 S. Sheridan Drive confirmed two cases of COVID-19 among its inmates on Thursday, Oct. 22, according to Holly Kramer, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). A total of 1,176 men are incarcerated in the establishment.
Prison-wide tests were administered on Friday, October 16, after a staff member tested positive for the virus, Kramer said. This revealed the cases of the inmates and another positive case among the staff.
The news comes as neighboring Muskegon Correctional Facility (MCF) recovers from seeing more than three-quarters of the men inside the prison contracts the virus, making it the state’s worst prison epidemic.
Five men incarcerated there died from the virus and a total of 1,004 were infected, out of 1,295. Thirty staff members have also tested positive for COVID-19.
While this infection raged, Earnest C. Brooks remained relatively unscathed. Four staff members had already tested positive for the virus in May, but that did not translate into wider transmission, Kramer said.
Now, newly infected prisoners will be isolated and contact tracing will take place, Kramer said. She could not say whether close contacts had been identified or isolated.
Weekly testing will continue for up to two weeks after the last positive case, Kramer said.
Prison officials could not be reached for comment.
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