On Tuesday, New York State Sen. Rob Ortt sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo requesting that further measures be put in place to protect officers working in the state's correctional facilities, as well as parole officers.
He said that, according to a New York Post article, only officers who are dealing with sick inmates are provided PPE masks, while other officers are forced to work in close quarters with inmates who may have COVID-19, yet show no symptoms of the virus.
“The density of correctional facilities makes them a highly contagious environment, and keeping our law enforcement officers safe should be a top priority during an outbreak of an airborne communicable disease,” Ortt said. “Our corrections and parole officers’ inability to wear PPE puts both officers and inmates at risk and opens the door to the possibility of these officers bringing the virus home to their families. The state has designated them as essential; we know they’re essential; let’s treat them as essential.”
According to the New York Post, as of last Monday, 56 officers and sergeants tested positive for the virus. There are also currently hundreds more in quarantine.