Marquette County Jail makes changes to protect staff, inmates from COVID-19

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Efforts are underway at the Marquette County Jail to help protect against the coronavirus.

One of these efforts, says Marquette County Sheriff, Greg Zyburt, is screening every new inmate for COVID-19 symptoms.

"When a prisoner is brought in, we're taking their temperature and if they're over 100.4 degrees, they do have to seek medical attention before they are admitted. Once they are brought in, we're keeping that person separated for 14 days,” Zyburt said.

In-person jail visitations are not allowed, but visitations through online platforms can continue.

Arraignments are also being done through the jail's Polycom system.

"The PolyCom is where the prisoners are arraigned or sentenced while they are in their cell with the judges. So, we're limiting the people coming into the jail,” said Zyburt.

Zyburt adds that law enforcement agencies across the county are helping keep jail numbers down by issuing appearance tickets instead arresting people and bringing them in for booking.

"We are still lodging for aggressive crimes and felonies, assaultive behavior, and drunk driving and drugged driving, that type of thing. But simple misdemeanors are given appearance tickets,” said Zyburt.

Judges are also issuing more personal recognizance bonds, meaning that less people have to stay in the jail until their court appearances.

"Again, the misdemeanors, the non-aggressive, non-assaultive, non-drugs, we are getting more PR bonds, so our jail count has been lower,” added Zyburt.

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