Union for COs urges no more prison visitation at ‘hotspot’ facilities

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 October 2020 at 9:36 am

Albion Correctional has had 9 Covid cases, none at Orleans Correctional; 1,141 negative tests at 2 prisons

The union for the corrections officers in state prisons is asking the state to immediately suspend inmate visitation at prisons that have seen a recent uptick in positive Covid-19 cases among in the inmate population.

The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Inc. issued a statement on Wednesday, urging the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision cease inmate visitation.

The union highlighted Elmira Correctional Facility saw an uptick in both staff and inmate positive tests, with more than 30 positive cases and more than 120 individuals under quarantine. At Greene Correctional Facility more than 70 inmates have tested positive in the last two weeks and there are close to 300 tests pending. More facilities are on the brink, NYSCOPBA said.

DOCCS reports online that 1,375 staff have tested positive, 886 inmates have tested positive, and 99 parolees have tested positive as of Oct. 14.

Of the 886 inmates who have been positive, 761 have recovered and are out of isolation

Of those total cases, 26 have died, including 17 inmates, 5 staff, 4 parolees.

DOCCS offers a breakdown online of testing among inmates at each prison (click here). That report shows that nine inmates at the Albion Correctional Facility have tested positive while 549 of the inmates at the women’s prison have tested negative.

At the Orleans Correctional Facility, 592 of the male inmates have been tested and all have come back negative.

NYSCOPBA worries a new wave of Covid is happening. The number of new cases has been on the rise in the past week nationally.

“Governor Cuomo unveiled new lockdown measures for recent ‘micro-clusters’ in and around the New York City area that are surging, and similar lockdown measures should be applied to State Prisons where the coronavirus is surging,” NYSCOPBA said. “Visitation should be immediately suspended at hotspot facilities and DOCCS should require anyone who visits an incarcerated inmate provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test within the last 14 days.”

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