27 inmates positive for coronavirus at Erie County Correctional Facility

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Twenty-seven inmates at the Erie County Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the inmates were all within a specific housing area at the facility.

Officials say upon initial symptoms, correctional health personnel implemented COVID related protocols and are monitoring the inmates’ health and progress. Hand sanitizer and masks are being provided to inmates.

 The Sheriff’s Office says they went eight months without a confirmed case of COVID in the jails prior to this outbreak. 

On Wednesday, the Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin said:

There is a COVID-19 outbreak in Erie County’s Alden jail facility. I have been in contact with other County leaders about having the charges of the infected detainees reviewed. I’m calling for non-violent offenders to be moved to the County quarantine hotel, where they can be housed and overseen by a deputy for 14 days. We need Sheriff Howard to utilize his authority to act on this proposal. In addition, there are detainees who are currently in the Alden jail for petty parole violations, and any changes to their status require permission from New York State. My next step is to contact my colleagues in state government to seek hotel quarantine for these individuals as well. Our leaders in the judicial system must act. I’m not asking for personal information about the infected inmates as that would be a HIPAA violation, but we should decrease the population of COVID positive detainees now. This isn’t a matter of your position on prison reform. This is a matter of public health and human decency.” 

Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin

Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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