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Coronavirus cases in NYC jails at 52 inmates, 30 staffers


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managed wordpress hostingCoronavirus cases in NYC jails at 52 inmates, 30 staffers 1
Fifty-two inmates in New York City jails tested positive for coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, up from 39 cases reported on Monday, according to the latest figures from the city Department of Correction.

Additionally, the number of DOC staff who have tested positive for the virus increased from 21 to 30.

A spokeswoman for the department did not clarify how many of those cases were reported on Rikers Island, which houses more than 5,200 inmates, or from other jail facilities in the city.

Coronavirus cases in NYC jails at 52 inmates, 30 staffers 2Coronavirus cases in NYC jails at 52 inmates, 30 staffers 3

The DOC was keeping 56 inmates under medical supervision as of Monday.

A department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for up-to-date numbers on how many prisoners are being watched by medical staff.

On Monday, the DOC announced that it would re-open a shuttered jail facility on Rikers Island to separate inmates who have coronavirus symptoms from the rest of the jail population.

The Eric M. Taylor Center was closed earlier this month as part of a plan to totally shut Rikers down over the next six years.

Coronavirus cases in NYC jails at 52 inmates, 30 staffers 4Coronavirus cases in NYC jails at 52 inmates, 30 staffers 5

Meanwhile, the city government, public defenders and district attorneys offices have been working to identify vulnerable Rikers inmates for release.

The spike in sick inmates comes as defense attorneys report that their clients on Rikers aren’t given enough space to practice social distancing — and are being forced into close quarters with inmates who are showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

One public defender said life at Rikers is like a “f–king slave ship,” Scott Hechinger of Brooklyn Defender Services said in a series of tweets sent on Tuesday railing on conditions at the sprawling jail complex.

“Social distancing in jail is impossible,” Hechinger tweeted. “Sanitation is non-existent. No gloves. No mask. Just hundreds of people coughing on each other.”

The DOC did not immediately respond to a request to respond to Hechinger’s statements.

The Correction Officers Benevolent Association did not respond to a request to comment on the updated infection numbers for guards.

Coronavirus cases in NYC jails at 52 inmates, 30 staffers 6Coronavirus cases in NYC jails at 52 inmates, 30 staffers 7
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