21 inmates and 17 workers have reportedly contracted covid-19.
It looks like the coronavirus has infiltrated itself into the Rikers Island prison system in New York City. According to multiple reports, 38 people have tested positive for covid-19, including 21 inmates and 17 employees.
The Board of Correction, which provides independent oversight of the city’s jails, sent a letter to New York officials over the weekend with two principle recommendations: to “immediately remove from jail all people at high risk of dying” and “rapidly decrease the jail population.”
According to Sherman, 12 of the employees work for the Department of Correction and the other five work under Correctional Health Services. In addition to that, at least another 58 people were being monitored in the prison’s contagious disease and quarantine units, she said.
“It is likely these people have been in hundreds of housing areas and common areas over recent weeks and have been in close contact with many other people in custody and staff,” said Sherman, warning that cases could skyrocket. “The best path forward to protecting the community of people housed and working in the jails is to rapidly decrease the number of people housed and working in them.”
This report comes just only a few days after Mayor de Blasio confirmed the first person who tested positive at Rikers on Wednesday, and now there’s 37 more.