Marquette Branch Prison one of several facilities tapped to house inmates with COVID-19, if needed

Mar 26, 2020

MARQUETTE, MI--   Marquette Branch Prison is making room for a possible transfer of prisoners who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz says some prisons don’t have the ability to isolate if a prisoner contracts the coronavirus. Space is being made in those that do so they can be safely treated, should the need arise.

Gautz says the MDOC is also looking at ways to address any correctional officer shortages at prisons where infected inmates are ultimately transferred.

The Department’s full statement is below:

“The MDOC has established a COVID-19 response plan, which includes a number of contingencies.  Among those contingencies is designating certain facilities on a regional basis where prisoners can be safely isolated to receive treatment if isolation and treatment cannot be safely accomplished at their current facilities.  Marquette Branch prison has readied some capacity, as have other facilities around the state, should this be necessary. 

“At this time, no prisoners have been transferred to Marquette, and there are no current plans to transfer the positive prisoner from Newberry, but transfers could happen in the future if need dictates that action. Should these transfers occur, all staff would have proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when working with or near these prisoners and COVID-19 protocols that have been developed in conjunction with DHHS, the CDC, and other experts will be in place.”