No new local cases among residents Tuesday

CADILLAC — No new COVID-19 cases were reported Tuesday in the Cadillac News coverage area.

After a new case on Monday, Wexford County remains at 12 cases, three deaths, seven recoveries, six probable cases and three people being monitored through contact tracing.

In Missaukee County, it's 16 total cases, one death, 15 recoveries and six probable cases.

In Osceola County, there have been 11 cases and six recoveries with zero deaths.

Lake County, which saw a sixth case over the weekend, has the fewest cases amongst county residents in the newspaper's coverage area.

Two of the six people who got sick in Lake County work for GEO Group, a private company that operates a prison under contract with the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Sick employees also live in Wexford and Osceola counties.

Inmates at the North Lake Correctional Facility near Baldwin don't count under Lake County's COVID-19 tally and are instead listed in a separate row on the state of Michigan's table of COVID-19 cases.

There appears to be an outbreak of the virus at the prison.

As of May 14, there were 83 workers and inmates who had been sick at North Lake Correctional Facility. On Tuesday, the total number of cases affiliated with the prison was 114.

On Tuesday, there were 23 sick inmates, 67 recovered inmates and 23 total workers who had fallen ill since the outbreak began.

Additionally, one inmate has died with COVID-19 in recent days. 

GEO Group confirmed information about staff members to the newspaper but refers questions about inmates to the BOP.

"As of June 2nd, twenty-three staff members at the North Lake Correctional Facility, which exclusively houses non-U.S. citizens, have tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Four of the employees who tested positive are currently at home on self-quarantine, while nineteen of the employees have fully recovered and returned to work after meeting the return-to-work guidelines for essential workers issued by the CDC," a spokesperson wrote in an email Tuesday to the Cadillac News.

The company said nine of the employees who tested positive reside in Mason County, four reside in Osceola County, two reside in Montcalm County, two reside in Lake County, one resides in Wexford County, one resides in Oceana County, one resides in Newaygo County, and three reside in Mecosta County.

It's not clear how "recovered" inmates are defined; GEO Group did not directly respond to the Cadillac News question.

However, the CDC says essential workers (such as prison employees) can return to to work three days after their symptoms have resolved so long as it's been 10 days since symptoms began; alternatively, essential workers can return to work after two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart. Workers that test positive but never have symptoms can come back to work 10 days after first testing positive or after two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart.

Statewide, the total number of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday was 57,731 and 5,553 deaths.

Cadillac News