Gautz said the prison paints the restrooms as needed , but it is simply not true that prisoners were told to paint over black mold with white paint.
He said bleach was taken away as a cleaning agent in the last year, because it was considered a possible source of the rash, but it is still used in the prison laundry.
He said officials have ruled out a number of possible causes, including black mold, after testing the water and air and searching for signs of mold. Scabies was also suspected early on and ruled out, he said.
He said Corizon , the correction Department's health care contractor, recently agreed to provide a doctor who would focus almost exclusively on addressing the rash problem.The prison has also asked for volunteers who have the rash to move into the health care unit, where they can be closely monitored and treated with topical creams, he said.
We 're definitively doing our best to get this to a conclusion, Gautz said.
It's all hands on deck.
Brooke Taylor, a traverse City resident whose mother. Carolyn Taylor, is an inmate at Women's Huron Valley, said her mother has the painful rash from head to toe and volunteered to move to the infirmary eight days ago. Taylor said she spoke to her mother Tuesday and she told her the rash has not improved and may have worsened since she moved to the infirmary.
Carolyn Taylor lives in the filmore unity , her daughter said. She doesn't work as a porter and sends all her garments to the prison laundry, she said. She too, believes the rash is is the result of mold , which she said was cleaned from the prison restrooms not long ago and has already come back.
Gautz said he doesn't intend to blame prisoners for the rash, but after eliminating many others possibilities, the improper use of cleaning agents is our best working theory.
Gautz said that when 115 prisoners had been diagnosed with the rash, 55 percent of them were porters. but he said he doesn't have an update porter number to go with the current number for rash cases which is 190.
He said officials also noticed a high proportion of rash incidents among prisoners who were mixing dental tablets, prison soap and shampoo to launder their own bras and underwear, rather than send it to the prison laundry, but he couldn't say what percentage of prisoners experiencing the rash had not done that.