According to the Marshall Project, by November 17, almost 200,000 people in prisons across the country had tested positive for COVID-19, an 8% increase from the week before.  

Here in New York, by the same date, there were over 1,700 people in prisons who had contracted the virus, 58% higher than the state’s average. 

Of the guards, nurses, and chaplains who work in New York’s prisons, by the same date, November 17, there had been over 1,600 cases of COVID-19. Five prison employees have died.

With COVID-19 again surging in the state, Michael Powers, president of the New York State Corrections Officers Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA), is urging the state to tighten up restrictions in order to prevent any more outbreaks in prisons. Recently, there have been two outbreaks in state prisons, one in the Southern Tier, and another in Greene County.

Powers told Capital Tonight that, while nothing has been decided regarding increased COVID-19 limitations, including social distancing and ending visitations, the union is having on-going conversations with the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.