Contact: Lt. Joel Roon - Kent County Sheriff's Office
Contact: Steve Kelso - Kent County Health Department
Incident Type: Media Release
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich – The Kent County Correctional Facility had three general population inmates test positive for COVID 19 yesterday. All three inmates live together in the same housing unit and were experiencing mild symptoms this weekend. As a result, all three inmates have been moved to isolation cells, their housing unit was quarantined, and their cellmates have been tested; their results are negative thus far.
Although contact tracing is still ongoing, the kitchen area has been identified as a possible area of concern, as one of the three positive inmates worked in the kitchen and there was also a contracted civilian kitchen worker who tested positive. Due to the potential for additional exposures to inmate workers, kitchen services have been reduced to sack lunch style meals. The housing unit where the kitchen inmate workers reside is also quarantined at this time.
The three COVID positive inmates represent less than one half of one percent of the nearly 800 inmate population. The Kent County Jail proactively tests all new inmates for COVID 19 upon arraignment (after 48 hours of arrest but before they enter general population). Positive inmates are isolated, and negative inmates are moved to complete 14 days of quarantine prior to entering the general population of inmates. Additionally, the jail staff utilize gloves and N95 masks, and all staff are required to complete a symptom & exposure screening prior to entering the inmate housing areas.
While this is an evolving situation, we continue to work closely with our partners at the Kent County Health Department on a daily basis to ensure that the safety and security of the Correctional Facility is paramount and that the health and well-being of both inmates and staff remains a top priority.