Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson announced that COVID-19 has been found in the county jail in Flint.
As of Wednesday, Nov. 18, the Genesee County Jail had 27 inmates who tested positive for COVID-19, 31 staff tested positive and four vendors tested positive. Swanson made the announcement Wednesday during his weekly press conference.
Out of 553 people in the jail, 414 inmates were tested with nasal or saliva tests. The tests are voluntary.
“You can’t force a test,” Swanson said.
Inmates who tested positive are quarantined on the same floor, and they can go about their normal routine.
One staff member was in the hospital, but is back home and is expected to make a full recovery. Officers work with the public outside and may contract the virus that way, Swanson said. There also are people who come into the jail after being arrested who may carry the virus. If they’re charged with a serious offense, the department may have to keep them in jail.
The jail stayed COVID-free for months.
“We dodged a bullet for a long time,” Swanson said, adding that this is the reality everyone is dealing with now.