Ulster covid uptick tied to prisons

A spike in Covid-19 cases in Ulster County is largely due to more cases being discovered behind bars, according to an official in the county executive’s office. There are currently 177 active cases in the county, up from 110 two days ago, and the highest number since June 24. The percent of tests returned as positive rose to 4.7 percent Tuesday and was 3.5 percent Wednesday; the last time it was above three percent was on July 5. 

Twenty-eight of 36 new cases included in the county figures updated Wednesday come from the Wallkill and Shawangunk state correctional facilities, according to Daniel Torres, assistant deputy to county executive Pat Ryan. “They do their own testing,” Torres said, and county officials do not get details on those data. Torres attributed a similar increase for Tuesday, when 31 new cases were listed, to those prison populations. He understands that more inmates are now being tested. 

State prison officials declined to provide reasons for the increase in known cases. They have also not provided information about the number of staff members to have tested positive, or when the inmates who have been found to have this coronavirus were tested. 

Advertisement

No cases have been reported in the Ulster County Jail. 

There are 3 comments

  1. Brian Devine

    The prisons should be more forthcoming about reporting and being accountable for what is happening inside. Other states are restricting travel for NYS residents based upon positive rates per million population. Prison numbers inflate those rates for a given county yet if we were subtract the prisoner population numbers from the general population our incidence rates would be much lower. When you look at the numbers for the Towns of Shawangunk, Wallkill or Wawarsing the prison numbers are not reflected hence it is confusing to make sense of the rates of infection in Ulster County.

  2. Lisa Stasts

    In my clinical opinion, it would be prudent that inmates go outside,get fresh air, garden,hold group therapy outside,Prayers and religious service Outside,read,exercise, do work details etc. And wear a face mask, social distance. Like the rest of us responsible people do in my community!!! Its not rocket science. Get with the program!

  3. Lisa Staats

    In my clinical opinion, it would be prudent that inmates go outside,get fresh air, garden,hold group therapy outside,Prayers and religious service Outside,read,exercise, do work details etc. And wear a face mask, social distance. Like the rest of us responsible people do in my community!!! Its not rocket science. Get with the program!

Post Your Thoughts