Earlier this month, a prisoner in the Great Meadow Correctional Installation he began to notice that some of the other prisoners were getting sick. Fearing for his life, he called his wife, Renee Evans-Henry.
Evans-Henry said that her husband feared that the coronavirus had entered Washington County, New York, weeks after the authorities suspended visits to the facilities as a preventive measure – despite the fact that the prisoners received no information. She asked ABC News not to use her husband’s name for fear of retaliation against him.
According coronavirus data for 45 state prisons released Sunday by the State Department of Corrections (DOC), 211 state prisoners and 794 chain employees hired the coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19. Of the infected prisoners, five died while 57 recovered, according to the report.
In Great Meadow, there were seven inmates with confirmed cases of COVID-19 on March 31 and three recovered, according to the report.
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Evans-Henry’s husband is the eighth case.
“A few weeks ago, he called me and went on to say ‘the virus is here, the virus is here’. He said people are dying and they are not giving any reason,” Evans-Henry, from Queens, New York, said. ABC News on Tuesday.
Inmates Liaison Committee members are expected to instruct all inmates about positive cases – without identifying them in accordance with HIPAA privacy rules – and to inform them of any new actions being taken in response to global policy . Cheers emergency. For each positive coronavirus case, the DOC must follow all Department of Health protocols, including performing a reverse scan to identify and notify potentially affected individuals and isolate or quarantine them, if necessary.
The five prisoners who died of coronavirus were not among the 1,404 housed in Great Meadow, according to the report. Three were at Sing Sing, one at Otisville and one at Queensboro Correctional Facility.
Although African Americans make up 13% of the US population, 33% of coronavirus patients are African Americans, according to CDC Statistics from Tuesday. The demographic composition of infected and deceased inmates was not available.
Based on data from the New York State Criminal Justice Division criminal record database, Of the 13,655 criminal prisons in 2018, those sentenced to prison included 6,505 African Americans, 3,813 whites, 3,042 Hispanics, 148 Asians and 147 who were considered “other / unknown”.
Evans-Henry’s husband, who is black, is also one of 98 prisoners who offered to earn thousands of gallons of “NYS Cares“hand sanitizer to help fight the low stock of cleaning products in state agencies like schools and the MTA, where she works as a bus operator.
Evans-Henry’s husband, who is 40 and in good health, was not feeling well on Saturday and went to the infirmary, she said.
“The nurse said he had a fever of 108, then 102, then 97 … they did the coronavirus test,” said Evans-Henry, who learned of the positive diagnosis on Tuesday morning.
Evans-Henry, 42, said that during each call with her husband – who is serving an 8-year life sentence for assault in New York’s St. Lawrence County – he said he was afraid of being arrested. the virus because the conditions of the facility were “horrible” and “not cleaned”, with prisoners only receiving a “thin cloth to wear” on their face.
“I feel really numb, lost, confused, because I’m trying to find out how he did it and what precautions were taken to protect prisoners from the virus. Only COs and medical staff are getting in and out of there,” said Evans-Henry . “I can still hear him saying it’s there, it’s there, and then he understood.”
The visit ended at correctional facilities across the state on March 14th.
DOC officials did not comment directly on conditions at Great Meadow, but said they took various preventive measures including allowing the incarcerated population to wear handkerchiefs issued by the state as masks and stopping internal transfers of incarcerated individuals, except for medical and other demanding circumstances. Officials also said they are following improved cleaning and sanitizing measures and procedures for disinfecting surfaces and office devices, according to guidelines from the CDC and the New York State Department of Health.
Evans-Henry said she had to make painful phone calls to her husband’s family to let them know about the diagnosis. Medical officials told her they would quarantine him for 14 days, she said.
“His sister cried,” said Evans-Henry. “I have been praying. I am hurt. Hearing how many deaths are happening around the world and how this virus is taking people down one by one – how do I help him? How can we fix it? I can’t even talk to him – there is phones in the infirmary. ”
Evans-Henry said that while others may not have compassion for prisoners because of the crimes for which they were convicted, “they are human beings and are confined in a small space”, despite guidelines for social detachment.
“He just wants to make his time and come home,” she said.