NYC Department of Corrections reported on Friday (March 27) of a recent spike of inmates and employees with COVID-19. However, correctional facility populations have been decreasing.
According to the New York Post, on Friday the department reported that 103 COVID-19 tests came back positive. However, that number was only 73 the day before. 80 correctional facility employees were reported to have the virus on Friday, which was up from 58 on the previous day.
The DOC has not released the facilities where the virus was found, but according to the Post the majority of cases are most likely at Rikers due to the number of inmates.
This surge in COVID-19 cases came after some inmates were set to be released amidst COVID-19 concerns. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, had ordered the release of over a thousand parole violators. There were 5,200 inmates at the beginning of the week. That number had dropped to around 4,800 by Friday.
According to the same article, inmates have been told to practice social distancing during meal time. However, this is not the case when inmates return to their cells and are just a few feet away from another person and have to share toilets and showers with multiple people.