BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Sheriff's Office announced 27 inmates within a specific area at the Erie County Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
A release states jail management and correctional heath personnel implemented the COVID related protocols upon the first signs of symptoms and their health and progress are being monitored.
Officials say the sheriff's office went eight months without a confirmed case of COVID in the jails before this recent discovery.
According to the sheriff's office hand sanitizer and masks are provided to inmates and the inmates and employees are mandated to wear masks when within the facilities.
Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin released the following statement on the matter Wednesday:
“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.”