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COVID-19 variant identified at MDOC facility in Ionia

This is the first known case of the variant inside a MDOC facility.
Bellamy Creek in Ionia

IONIA, Mich. — Wednesday, The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) identified a case of the COVID-19 B.1.1.7. variant inside one of its facilities.

The variant was found at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia. This is the first known case of the variant inside a MDOC facility. 

After consultation with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), all prisoners and employees there will now be tested daily, rather than weekly.

“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.  

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.

To date, the variant has been identified in at least 34 other states and jurisdictions in the U.S. As of Wednesday, Feb. 10, there were 61 cases in 11 jurisdictions in Michigan. 

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