COVID-19 sweeps through Macomb County Jail, infecting more than a quarter of inmates

click to enlarge Macomb County Jail in Mount Clemens. - MACOMB COUNTY
Macomb County
Macomb County Jail in Mount Clemens.

The coronavirus has infected more than a quarter of Macomb County Jail’s 550 inmates, prompting the Sheriff’s Office to administer rapid tests to every new inmate entering lockup.

At least 30 jail employees have also tested positive for COVID-19.

The outbreak occurred on two floors of the jail in Mount Clemens. Of the 250 inmates on those floors, an astounding 243 tested positive, Sheriff Anthony Wickersham tells Metro Times.

“Most of them were asymptomatic, and we have quarantined and isolated those 243,” Wickersham, who tested positive for the coronavirus in November, says.

One inmate has been hospitalized.

It's unclear what caused the outbreak. Wickersham says the jail only had five COVID-19 cases between March and the end of October.

The 1,438-bed jail is far below capacity after hundreds of inmates were released as a preventive measure during the pandemic.

Since March, Wickersham says all new inmates have been quarantined for 14 days. In other jails around the country, health officials believe employees are unwittingly bringing the virus into the facilities.

In Michigan-run jails, nearly 14,000 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 and 89 have died. An additional 1,981 jail employees have tested positive and three have died.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.