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Published 3/11/2020

MDOC Puts Screening Measures in Place to Protect Facilities

Measures Now In Place to Protect Staff, Prison Population and Community



The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) is taking a series of measures to protect its staff, the prison population and the community as the first presumptive positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been identified in the state. These are community cases and there is no known connection between these cases and the MDOC.

Until further notice, anyone coming into a prison facility will be asked a series of screening questions and may have their temperature checked before being allowed entrance into a prison. This includes all staff, visitors, volunteers and contractors.
On Tuesday night, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency after announcing two Michigan residents have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.

“Our primary focus is on public safety,” said MDOC Dir. Heidi Washington. “We take this issue seriously and we will do all we can to keep the public safe, as well as those we supervise across this state.”

In communities where there are outbreaks, the department will consult with the local health department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and will potentially disallow all visits and outside contact from anyone other than MDOC personnel.

If visits are cancelled, prisoners will have increased time for phone calls and for sending electronic messages to family and friends.

Information on prevention is being provided to the prison population and MDOC staff. For the past week, facilities have undergone additional and more frequent cleaning of all facilities.

The department is also reviewing all previously scheduled large events including graduations, corrections officer training academies and other training events.

Staff and visitors can also access information about their facility by signing up for Nixle alerts.

To sign up for Nixle alerts, go to and select the page for the correctional facility in your area to register via the Nixle Widget, or text the zip code of the facility you would like to receive updates from to 888777.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and



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3/8/2020 Update

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants former Vice President Joe Biden to be the Democratic nominee for president. Whitmer said Thursday she is endorsing Biden and that she plans to vote for him in Tuesday's primary.   

The former head of the United Auto Workers Union has been charged with embezzlement. Gary Jones is accused of taking one-million dollars from the union and may plead guilty to the charges.   

A family is happy to have their dog, Max, back after a tugboat crew rescued him from Muskegon lake Monday night. The dog had been missing since Sunday when captain Dave Wellington spotted the pup floating on a piece of ice.

Vista Charter Academy in Wyoming canceled all classes Thursday due to a threat made against the school. School officials say they received a threat of violence Wednesday. 

The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan has announced the start of a new bus service between Detroit and Ann Arbor. The D2A2 bus line will begin operation on March 16th.

Saginaw County may be closer to settling on a location for its $11.4 million animal shelter. The project has been held up while county officials select a place to build it. The county has a purchase agreement on property in Kochville Township.

Saturday, March 28, Olivet College will host the third annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk. The walk will be held in the Olivet College Square. There is no cost to participate, but registration is encouraged.

Despite bankruptcy, Goodrich Quality Theaters says it will be able to keep its doors open. The theater chain headquartered in Grand Rapids filed for chapter 11. They run one theater in northern Michigan, in Cadillac.