County: 11 Clinton inmates positive for COVID-19

The wall of Clinton Correctional Facility looms over the community of Dannemora in June 2015. (Enterprise photo — Matthew Turner)

Eleven inmates at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from Clinton County.

New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association Vice President John Roberts said he has heard that three staff members at the facility have been placed into quarantine as they have been in contact with those inmates.

Roberts also said he has heard some of the inmates have been sick.

“I know quite a few of them are actually showing signs of symptoms, not just asymptomatic,” he said.

He said things are stressful inside the facility.

“I think it’s time to reevaluate where we’re at and take some additional precautions,” Roberts said.

NYSCOBPA has asked the state to change its visitation practices. Roberts suggested temporarily suspending in-person visitations and increasing inmates’ time to use tablets to talk with their families. He also said the union is suggesting the prisons have visitors get tested for COVID-19 before they can visit.

Numbers released by Franklin County on Monday morning show one inmate is in isolation and three are quarantined at Franklin Correctional, two are in isolation at Upstate Correctional with none quarantined, and one is in isolation at Bare Hill Correctional, with the number in quarantine there still being determined.

Inmates and staff are listed as “isolated” when they have tested positive for the virus or been determined to be positive by medical diagnosis. Someone is listed as “quarantined” if they are identified by contact tracing to have been in contact with a positive individual.

The latest DOCCS data, from Friday, still shows one positive inmate at Adirondack Correctional in Ray Brook. This was reported earlier this month. Data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons still shows one inmate listed as positive at the Federal Corrections Institute at Ray Brook, which was first reported Oct. 9.

On Monday, 13 prison reform advocacy groups called on the governor to grant clemency to at-risk inmates and for lawmakers to pass the Elder Parole and Fair and Timely Parole bills, following DOCCS reporting that an 18th inmate has died from the virus in the state prison system. This inmate was at Fishkill Correctional Facility, which has seen the most deaths of any state correctional facility.


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