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Mich. DOC officer dies of COVID-19

The man, who’s the state’s first DOC employee to die of COVID-19, was a corrections transportation officer in Detroit

By Angie Jackson and Paul Egan
Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — A Michigan Department of Corrections officer diagnosed with the novel coronavirus has died, according to an email sent to staff Tuesday evening.

The employee was a corrections transportation officer in Detroit.

“This is a difficult day for all of us, especially those who worked closely with him over the years. His dedication and commitment to the safety of our state’s residents will not be forgotten and will leave a lasting impact on our department,” Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington said in the email to staff.

Washington said the department is still learning the details of the employee’s death and is “heartbroken by his loss.”

“This virus is unlike any enemy we’ve faced before. Its reach has had no boundaries and it has affected people of all ages and backgrounds,” she said. “Our thoughts are with the officer’s family, friends and colleagues at this sad time and we know he will be greatly missed.”

The man, who was not identified, is the first Corrections Department employee to die after contracting COVID-19.

Department spokesman Chris Gautz said Tuesday that 20 employees across the state and 92 prisoners have been diagnosed with COVID-19. He said the department has tested 210 prisoners.

No prisoners have died after testing positive, Gautz said.


©2020 the Detroit Free Press