MADISON TWP. — The first two inmate deaths due to the coronavirus at Gus Harrison Correctional Facility were confirmed Tuesday.

Leonard DeBoyce Memminger, 66, and Anthony Wayne Wright, 59, both died from the virus.

The two had been at Gus Harrison for some time and were part of the general prison population. Both were serving long sentences. Memminger's earliest release date was in June 2025, and Wright's was in April 2022.

Both died in health care facilities.

Gus Harrison had 77 positive cases as of Thursday. Inmate cases are not included in Lenawee County's daily case data. Twenty inmates tested positive at Gus Harrison the same day the deaths were confirmed.

Gus Harrison continues to operate a step-down unit where inmates who previously tested positive for COVID-19 but have been medically cleared are housed. The facility currently has 120 inmates and is completely separate from the general prison population.

The Michigan Department of Corrections is in the process of widespread testing in an effort to have each of its 37,000 inmates tested.

The corrections department has partnered with the Michigan National Guard in the Upper Peninsula to test 7,500 inmates, according to Chris Gautz, spokesman for the MDOC.

It takes the MDOC four to five days to test one facility, but with the National Guard's help they're expected to get through six facilities in five days and wrap up testing in the Upper Peninsula today.

The MDOC reached out to the National Guard about assistance and testing began after a couple of weeks of planning.

"That was a huge help to have their assistance," Gautz said. "It's gone incredibly well. We're looking at deploying the resources downstate."

Wardens at prisons in lower Michigan are working on plans to get inmates at their facilities tested.

"The goal is to get everyone tested," Gautz said. "It depends if we get further assistance from the National Guard."

About 10,000 prisoners have been tested statewide, so far.

Mass testing has been completed at Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater and Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson.

Nearly 800 prisoners at Lakeland have already tested positive. Gautz said 80% were asymptomatic.

The Jackson facility is one of two prisons, Carson City Correctional Facility being the other, where all inmates who newly test positive are sent.

Ideally, the MDOC would like to have all of its employees tested. There are some additional challenges in doing so, such as different regulations for staff, union groups and the logistics of trying to test all employees at each facility across three shifts.

Gautz said it's something the department is working on as there has been an increase in staff cases recently. Twenty-three staff members have tested positive at Gus Harrison, and 298 have tested positive statewide. There have been two deaths.

Testing kits have been obtained through the state of Michigan Emergency Operations Center. It's where emergency and disaster responses are coordinated between local, state and federal agencies.

The MDOC is also working with private labs in Michigan for testing kits. Gautz said this helps to alleviate strain on state resources.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to state that testing has been completed at Cotton and Lakeland correctional facilities.