Marquette County Jail starts using faster COVID-19 testing

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:40 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette County Jail can now receive COVID-19 test results within 15 minutes thanks to Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Since the pandemic began there have been at least five inmates that have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Marquette County Jail and an even larger amount of staff members.

Sometimes the test result turnaround would take up to a week, but the Abbot BinaxNOW COVID test changes that.

“For us the important thing is the time element is 15 minutes versus 5 or 6 days,” Marquette County Sheriff, Greg Zyburt, said.

Marquette County Jail was approved to begin using the BinaxNOW test November 20.

The testing procedure is fairly the same as other COVID-19 test, except the swab sample does not need to be sent to a lab. Instead, the swab is inserted into 6 drops of extraction reagent.

Once in the chemicals, it needs to be rotated 3 times clockwise, then closed and securely sealed in the card. Fifteen minutes later the result is revealed.

If two lines shows up then you are considered positive for COVID-19 and one line means you’re negative.

Zyburt said that negative results are still handled with extreme caution. He said there’s only a 70 percent chance that you are negative if the result comes out negative.

“You have to still treat the person as if he is positive,” Zyburt said.

That means every prisoner must be isolated for 14 days when they come in, but the negative cases stay together for the 2-week duration, while the positive cases have to quarantine by themselves.

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