With New York City being the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, the city’s correctional facilities are bearing a significant blow from COVID-19, with the number rising to triple digits among inmates and correction officers as of March 30, making it the worst mass infection in any jail in the country.
139 inmates and 114 correction officers have tested positive of the novel coronavirus, with another 800 inmates under quarantine throughout the city’s jail system. In Riker’s Island’s Eric M. Taylor and George R. Vierno Centers, there are a combined 145 people in quarantine respectively.
“If we continue to medically isolate at this rate, all of Riker’s Island is going to be under quarantine.,” said the President of the NYC Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association Elias Husamudeen. “I don’t think the department is prepared to handle this …Something needs to be done immediately, and DOC seems unable or unwilling to do whatever is necessary to deal with it.”
Blaming the efforts of De Blasio and the city, adding, “There are officers who are not going home (after work) because they do not want to give it to their families … (The city has) not done enough to protect people.”