COVID-19 Variant Outbreak at Michigan Prison
A Michigan prison announced they have had a COVID-19 outbreak infecting 95 people. What makes this news even more alarming is that 90 of the cases are of a more contagious COVID-19 variant.
The prison is located in Ionia Michigan and the outbreak effected both prisoners and staff. More testing continues to occur as potentially more cases may be uncovered.
The variant of COVID-19 discovered at the prison is B.1.1.7.
Prisons are highly susceptible to viral outbreaks. This is due to large numbers of people are in close proximately to each other. Safeguarding resources (PPE, cleaning supplies, ongoing sanitation) are not as accessible. Social distancing is also harder to enforce as prisons are confined spaces.
It is up to the prison to provide ongoing health screening for all staff and prisoners. This includes temperature screenings for not just the staff and prisoners, but all visitors entering the facilities. Anyone having symptoms must be quarantined, isolated away from the general population immediately. The faster the medical staff react, the safer everyone will be.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on globally. With new variants of COVID-19 becoming more prevalent, we all must continue to do our part in limiting the spread of the virus. It is only once everyone is vaccinated that life can go back to normal. This is especially true for life behind bars.