Aright, it’s the 7th day of our quarantine… waiting on the results of several prisoners COVID-19 tests. And since the previous test results have been taking about 9 days to come back… I’m guessing that we’ll hear something any day now. Then we’ll find out the next steps of tightening-down or regular-movement, that we got ahead of us.

All this has been in stark contrast to the messages we’ve been receiving, by our prison administration, as of late… who’ve been pushing for daily operations to resume as swiftly as possible. I mean, honestly, it’s not as much about re-establishing normal operations, as it is about: removing restrictions; removing the additional work required by staff and prisoners towards (extra) cleaning-efforts; cutting the extra-expenditures needed for additional cleaning supplies and; stopping the “hazard-pays”, that were given to staff AND prisoners who had to still work with some risk. It really all comes down to an attempt at saving a dollar! Because even when they were to remove all these things… our programming, schooling and visiting will still remain shut-down.

These are not things I speculate on… this was in accordance with the last communication we received from this prisons’ administration, saying that this facility was clear of all COVID-19 cases and hazard-pay would come to a stop on August 14th, 2020.

However, just prior to this message it was discovered that a prison-nurse had tested positive for COVID-19. Following that the 2 prisoners who worked in close contact were taken to segregation, for isolation, pending their test results. Then on August 16th… just 2 days after we were informed that this facility was cleared of ALL COVID-19 case, 1 of those prisoners test came back positive. This was all pending during their declaration of zero COVID-19 cases and the removal of unnecessary hazard-pays.

From that point, guys just started dropping like flies around here, being snatched-up and either taken to segregation or the school building… where they have a make-shift “quarantine-area”. And there really wasn’t any rhyme or reason to who the prison selected… they based their decision on direct-contact, but 9 days had passed (from the point of contact w/ the infected prisoner) before they were isolated from the other prisoners. Then they DIDN’T take their cellmates either, but those people had direct-contact, for 9 days straight within a 6-foot cell.

And it’s the half-ass process they followed, that has me hoping those other prisoners DON’T come back positive… if any of them do, then it’ll be almost 3 weeks past initial contact and it’ll be just like it has been at almost every prison COVID-19 was introduced into. Mass-infection amongst the majority of the prison population.

To try and give you a more clear picture of the tinder-box type of situation we as prisoners live in… when this COVID-19 was 1st introduced into the other side of this prison (which due to strict controlled-movement, is basically a separate prison), it began with 1 or 2 positive tests.

From that point on, it spread within a couple weeks to 700+ positive-prisoner cases and a half-dozen prisoner deaths. This same thing just happened at 2 other prisons, where these officers came in sick and introduced the COVID-virus to the prisoners, which took off and infected 100’s within a week. And 5 months after a State of Emergency was declared in Michigan, after 1000’s of positive-prisoner cases and 69 (or more) prisoner deaths… it was these most recent outbreaks, that have finally prompted the State to make mandatory testing for the prison-staff. This is the relevant portion of our most recent information.

Death of a prisoner

We are sad to report the death of a prisoner who tested positive for COVID-19.

The prisoner had been housed at Muskegon Correctional Facility.
There have now been ** 69 prisoners ** in MDOC custody to pass away from this virus…

…Order Requiring Testing of MDOC Staff

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued an emergency public health order requiring COVID-19 testing of all staff at any facilities that have a positive staff or prisoner case.

This order is effective immediately, except the MDOC has until Sept. 8 to begin weekly testing, though it should begin as soon as practical. Testing at Newberry Correctional Facility took place this week. Staff testing at Muskegon Correctional Facility will take place Aug. 25 and 27.

Employees must continue to obtain testing weekly until 14 days after the last confirmed positive case at the facility. Employees can receive testing in the community or utilize the free, on-site testing the MDOC will provide each week the order applies at a facility…

* * * * * * *

The most frustrating part is that our visiting was cut-off, on March 13th and since then the prison-population has ONLY had contact with prison-staff. So, its 100% guaranteed that any positive-cases have resulted from positive-staff coming within the prisons. This isn’t specualtion… it’s simple fact. The frustrating part is that when a staff is discovered (after the fact), they go home, self-isolate and try to get well.

But, when a prisoner is infected by some careless staff-member, they are ripped from the most limited comforts they’re allowed… had all their personal possessions taken away and thrown in segregation. I watched several guys taken last week, for possible contact and had their possessions torn-through and in several cases discarded as if they were being punished. It makes little sense, that after being infected by those who are meant to oversee us, we are then being punished like we did something wrong. Not one person in here has wanted to become sick, not one person has wanted to be punished because of it… but those are the realities of poor testing or NO testing, in the case of the some staff!

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