County Jail had 13 correction officers test positive for Covid

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2020 at 9:08 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: The Orleans County Jail had 13 corrections officers and three inmates test positive for Covid-19 last month.

ALBION – Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke said the county jail had 13 corrections officers test positive for Covid-19 last month, with one of the officers hospitalized and on a ventilator for two days.

Bourke said most of the staff who tested positive were asymptomatic or had minor symptoms.

“Everybody has recovered and is doing well,” Bourke said on Tuesday on a Zoom conference call with other elected officials in the county.

The jail has about 45 staff members total. In addition to the 13 corrections officers, three inmates tested positive for Covid last month.

The jail is at about a quarter of its 82-inmate capacity.

Bourke said there are no in-person inmate visits right now. Friends and families of inmates can use the Video Visitation System.

There also won’t be weekend jail sentences served during this current surge in Covid cases in the region. Bourke said those sentences have been suspended, and not eliminated with the time to be served later when the Covid cases go down.

District Attorney Joe Cardone also said the county court system is back to functioning mostly through virtual appearances. There will be very few in-person appearances. Cardone said three upcoming trials that were scheduled have been postponed because juries can’t be picked due to restrictions with the Covid pandemic.

Judges also can’t sentence people to jail until February, Cardone said in the conference with local officials.