Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is pleased to learn the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) is allowing correctional officers, supervisors and parole officers to use basic personal protection equipment while on duty to reduce the possible spread of the Coronavirus. The announcement by DOCCS comes one day after Senator Gallivan wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo and Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci calling for the change in policy.
“Authorizing the use of N-95 masks, gloves and disposable smocks will protect officers, inmates and those on parole from possible infection,” Senator Gallivan said. “These officers are among the thousands of essential employees who perform vital services and they deserve to be protected while on the job.”
Prior to the new authorization, only those staff members associated with medical situations that required interaction with incarcerated individuals who had tested positive for the virus or were displaying symptoms were provided with PPE.
Dozens of DOCCS employees and incarcerated individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. The department says every individual who has tested positive or has displayed symptoms has been isolated.
DOCCS has already suspended visitation, stopped intake from county jails and has taken other measures within its facilities in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.