By April Morton

(CBS DETROIT)- The Macomb County Jail is the latest facility to fall victim to the corona virus crisis. County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham says until now they have done very well keeping the virus at bay.

“From March to the end of October we had 5 cases on the onset of the virus and throughout the summer and the spring and early fall we didn’t have any cases.”

Although Wickersham says that has changed dramatically in the last month. When a handful of inmates tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of October, staff tested other inmates on the same floors.

“And 143 on the rapid test came back positive they then did the PCR test and when the results came back the same 143 inmates tested positive.” said Wickersham

He says those inmates are quarantined in an isolated area of the jail where they will remain for at least 14 days. Wickersham says there are currently 530 total inmates and they are doing all they can to help slow the spread of the virus, including providing inmates and staff with proper PPE, and testing inmates as they enter the jail. Wickersham says he’s seeing cases of the virus from in coming inmates.

“And even over the weekend the tests revealed that 5 new arrests that came in off the street, 5 of them were positive for COVID”

Sheriff Wickersham says several staff members at the jail have also tested positive for COVID-19, with one being hospitalized. There’s also one inmate currently in the hospital with the virus.

April Morton