COVID variant found in employee at Ionia prison

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Posted at 4:29 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 21:47:03-05

IONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) — An employee at an Ionia prison has tested positive for the COVID variant B.1.1.7., according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.

This is the first known case of the variant at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia. All prisoners and employees will now be tested daily, rather than weekly in response to the new development because the variant is believed to be much more contagious.

“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.

Positive COVID cases identified before the variant was introduced to Michigan, were sent to COVID-positive facilities such as Duane Waters Health Center and Macomb Correctional Facility to address prisoners with health risks.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that an inmate tested positive for the variant. The article has been corrected to say that an employee initially tested positive for the COVID variant.

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