218 of 891 tested positive since November 9
Chair of Assembly Health Committee Says Incarcerated Should Have Access to Vaccines As Soon As Possible
WOODBOURNE- In the first report of 2021, the New York State Department of Corrections & Community Supervision data shows that 24.5 percent of the inmate population at Woodburne Correctional Facility has tested positive for Covid-19.
Woodbourne continues to have the second most cases￼ among the prisons operated by New York State - except for the facility in Elmira.
Widespread testing at Woodburne began on November 9. ￼￼There were no reported cases at the facility between March and November of 2020.￼
Thirteen more cases have been recorded there since December 31, when there were 205 cases.
The latest data states that 120 inmates have recovered￼. One inmate with coronavirus died in December.
This morning, The SullivanTimes sought comment￼ from the Corrections department to get an update about the situation at the medium-security prison.
In December, this media outlet learned from a source that at least three corrections officers there had also tested positive and were out sick.
Another source who did not want to be identified￼ says that some officers are now working double shifts due to a staff shortage in recent weeks.
Approximately seven states, including New Jersey, either started or will soon begin vaccinations for prison staff￼ and inmates, according to multiple media reports and prisoner advocacy groups. ￼
After a request from The SullivanTimes, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, chair of the Health Committee, said in a statement yesterday:
￼ “Science and sound public health policy point to what we already know: all persons living and working in congregate settings in New York, including those incarcerated in correctional institutions, should have access to COVID vaccines as soon as possible. COVID doesn’t distinguish or discriminate between different kinds of congregate settings, and neither should the State of New York.”
So far, Governor Andrew Cuomo has not weighed in on this issue.