NYSCOPBA: Major uptick of COVID-19 cases at Elmira Correctional Facility

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM-TV) – There is a major surge of COVID-19 positive cases at the Elmira Correctional facility, according to officials with New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association.

NYSCOPBA officials released the following statement to 18 News Friday night.

Good evening.

At current we have an issue at Elmira Correctional Facility. At this time there are 30 Officers quarantined and 4 are positive. 15 inmates are quarantined with 4 positive and 2 more showing symptoms. This has blown up quickly as just 2 days ago there was one inmate quarantined and one officer.   With ongoing issues of DOCCS moving inmates after possible exposure to COVID, counties sending inmates without proper test results or quarantining, Improper quarantine procedures, visiting being allowed,  Industries and construction running this was to be expected considering the areas current COVID uptick.  Add all this to a facility that is not properly staffed to meet all the added jobs created by the department without massive forced overtime and we have a recipe for disaster. It’s time to isolate this facility by closing Industry, closing programs, stopping visits stopping transportation and properly staff this facility  to protect everyone. This would be the safe and smart approach, but is not being applied to this facility.

Mark DeBurgomaster
NYSCOPBA Western Region VP

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervisions released a statement this morning saying,

Elmira Correctional Facility currently has five incarcerated individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Those individuals displaying symptoms were immediately isolated and tested. When the results were delivered a contact trace was conducted and those identified were quarantined and tested.  Any individual that is COVID-19 positive or in quarantine as part of a contact trace is not allowed to visit.  It is critical that both staff and incarcerated individuals continue to follow the protocols in place, which include the mandatory use of masks for all staff, visitors, and incarcerated individuals when participating in activities. All state-ready individuals being moved from county jail to a state correctional facility are tested and must be negative before being transferred to DOCCS custody.

All state-ready individuals being moved from county jail to a state correctional facility are tested and must be negative before being transferred to DOCCS custody.

As Acting DOCCS Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci recently testified before the NYS Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections NYS Senate Standing Committee on Health COVID-19 Impact on Prisons and Jails, “We continue to comply with CDC guidance, and in consultation with DOH, evaluate all options for additional testing as part of our multi-faceted response. The Department has continually expanded the pool of incarcerated individuals being tested, which include those incarcerated individuals who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, all incarcerated individuals who are quarantined as a result of a contact trace, as well as a variety of targeted testing cohorts.

Thomas Mailey
DOCCS spokesperson 

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