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New case of COVID at federal prison in Ray Brook

The Federal Correctional Institute at Ray Brook is seen in April 2016. The buildings were originally built to house athletes for the 1980 Winter Olympics in nearby Lake Placid. Converting it to a prison afterward was part of the original plan. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)

RAY BROOK — An inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Ray Brook has contracted the coronavirus, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons on Friday.

No staff at FCI Ray Brook have currently tested positive for the virus, according to BOP data.

The federal prison in the Adirondacks has not had the virus within its walls for several months now, but it has had two spikes before. In June, four inmates and one staff member tested positiv. In the spring, six inmates and nine staff members tested positive.

Earlier this week, an inmate at Adirondack Correctional Facility, a New York state prison for older inmates across the road from FCI Ray Brook, tested positive during a facility-wide testing initiative. The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision does not provide information on whether staff members at specific state facilities test positive.

Advocates with the Release Aging People in Prison Campaign has called for inmates in these facilities to be released, due to the virus. They have asked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to grant clemency to inmates and for lawmakers to pass parole reform bills.

“We fear that this virus is going to spread like wildfire,” RAPP Associate Director Dave George wrote in an email. “It will needlessly harm and kill elder New Yorkers in prison unless the governor and state leaders take immediate action to release everyone from the facility. Legislative leaders in Albany should pass the Elder Parole bill and Fair and Timely Parole Act now.”

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