Michigan National Guard troops are now helping the Michigan Department of Corrections throughout the Upper Peninsula. They’re working to test all inmates at state prisons across the UP for the COVID-19 virus. They started the work Monday on the west side of the UP and are working their way east. There are 6 state prisons in the UP holding about 75-hundred prisoners. The first test results from western UP prisons may be available later today. The Guard troops include medical professionals. Some of the emphasis for the testing originates from southern Michigan and the Lakeland State correctional facility in Branch County, just outside Coldwater. Of the better than 1,400 hundred inmates at Lakeland, almost 800 are testing positive for the virus. 17 Lakeland inmate deaths are attributed at least in part to the virus. 33 corrections officers and staff are testing positive there. The Parnall Correctional facility in Jackson is reporting 177 prisoners testing positive. 10 have died with the virus playing some role in their deaths. 74 staff and corrections officers at Parnall are testing positive, the most at any state prison.

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