COVID IN NYS PRISONS: FOR FIRST TIME, DOCCS REPORTS MORE INCARCERATED NEW YORKERS WITH COVID-19 THAN PRISON STAFF; SHIFT IN INFECTED POPULATION FROM STAFF TO INMATES SHOULD CAUSE STATEWIDE CONCERN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2020
Contact: Jason Kaplan | kaplan@skdknick.com

COVID IN NYS PRISONS: FOR FIRST TIME, DOCCS REPORTS MORE INCARCERATED NEW YORKERS WITH COVID-19 THAN PRISON STAFF; SHIFT IN INFECTED POPULATION FROM STAFF TO INMATES SHOULD CAUSE STATEWIDE CONCERN 

NYUJ To DOCCS: You Are Putting Lives At Prisons & Surrounding Community At Serious Risk

“The COVID-19 outbreak at Elmira is just the tip of the iceberg. For the first time since March, the number of reported COVID positives among people incarcerated have surpassed positives among DOCCS staff. For months, we have seen DOCCS drag its feet and fail to administer tests to incarcerated individuals across our state at the rates we need to contain the spread of this deadly virus,” said  Alexander Horwitz, Executive Director of New Yorkers United for Justice. “Put simply, DOCCS’ failure to test and prevent these outbreaks will have disastrous consequences for not just those in the prisons, but for the communities that surround facilities across the State. Worse still, we know that a sudden increase in positive tests usually precedes an increase in deaths. Sadly, we have no reason to believe the spike in cases in prisons will have a different outcome. It’s time for DOCCS to get serious about testing and develop a transparent and effective plan for how they will do their part to keep our state safe and healthy during this public health crisis. That plan must include mass, regular diagnostic testing, antibody testing for those who first test negative, and a safe reduction of the prison population.”

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