Two deaths attributed to coronavirus at Baldwin prison
Over 100 inmates have recovered
BALDWIN -Two inmates have died inside North Lake Correctional Facility due to the coronavirus while over 100 inmates have recovered.
The Baldwin facility currently has three inmates that are positive for the coronavirus, and a total of 103 inmates that tested positive who have recovered, the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed Monday.
In all, 108 inmates and 24 staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus, since the pandemic began months ago.
Christopher Ferreira, manager of corporate relations at GEO Group, Inc., stated in an email to the Pioneer that as of June 23, 24 staff members at the North Lake Correctional Facility have tested positive for the coronavirus.
"All 24 employees have fully recovered and returned to work after meeting the return-to-work guidelines for essential workers issued by the CDC," Ferreira said.
Nine of the employees who tested positive live in Mason County, four live in Osceola County, two live in Montcalm County, three live in Lake County, one lives in Wexford County, one lives in Oceana County, one lives in Newaygo County, and three live in Mecosta County.
"Any inmates who may have had exposure to the employees who tested positive will be monitored by medical staff for their health and wellbeing, consistent with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control," Ferreira said.
The BoP, when contacted, responded with the following statement from Justin Long, with the office of public affairs:
"As you found on our website's coronavirus resource page, we are providing the locations of the four inmate deaths in the BOP's privately contracted prisons related to COVID-19. However, we are not commenting on specific conditions related to these deaths in private prisons or operations at a privately contracted prison other than to confirm that the BOP's COVID-19 guidance is being shared with private prisons for dissemination to staff and inmates in these facilities so that similar protocols can be implemented."
Officials at North Lake Correctional Facility could not be reached for comment, and no additional information about the inmate deaths was available.
North Lake Correctional Facility is operated by GEO Group, Inc.
Unlike federal inmates housed in Federal Bureau of Prisons' facilities, North Lake is responsible for the medical care and the costs associated with providing those services.
In early May, Lake County health officials declared the facility a "model prison" pertaining to health department standards. At that time, the prison had over 60 inmates with the coronavirus.