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Michigan Department of Corrections completes testing of every inmate in system

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An inmate gets tested for COVID-19 at the Kalamazoo County Jail on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (WWMT/Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Jim VanDyken)

The Michigan Department of Corrections said Friday it tested every inmate in its system.

The Michigan National Guard stepped up to assist with testing, and state officials said in less than 15 days, they completed their goal on May 22, 2020.

“When it comes to this virus, testing is critical to knowing exactly what you are dealing with and how to address it,” Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington said. “The vast majority of the prisoners we found who tested positive had no symptoms and were making it more challenging to control the spread of this illness."

The department had been testing symptomatic prisoners since late March. In mid-April, the department started the mass testing of several facilities.

State officials said final results will likely not be known until next week.

So far, out of 38,130 prisoners who were tested at its 29 prisons, there are 3,263 prisoners who have tested positive, 18,316 who have tested negative, with 16,551 pending test results.