Chemung County reports 424 new cases amid Elmira Correctional Facility outbreak

Coronavirus

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Chemung County has reported 424 new cases of COVID-19 amid an outbreak at the Elmira Correctional Facility.

According to DOCCS, there are 337 cases among inmates with 430 pending tests and eight recoveries. The number of confirmed cases is up from 295 on Wednesday morning at a facility that has 1,520 inmates, as of Oct. 23.

On Oct. 2 it was reported that there were just four cases among inmates at Elmira.

Chemung County Executive Chris Moss tells 18 News that the numbers were reported at once due to a “data delay” from the facility and Wadsworth Center laboratory in Albany.

On Thursday the facility closed for all visitation due to the outbreak with hundreds of cases reported.

Unfortunately, as a result of the significant increase in COVID-19 infections among the incarcerated population at Greene and Elmira Correctional Facilities, effective today, October 21, 2020, at 3pm, visitation at the two facilities will temporarily be suspended until further notice.  We have also suspended all transfers in or out of the two facilities and programs at this time.

The Department takes seriously its duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those that work and live in our correctional facilities.  During this difficult time, the Department is appreciative of everyone’s patience and understanding as we continue to face this virus together.

NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION

The number of positive cases at Elmira Correctional Facility now accounts for more than 26% of the total COVID-19 cases in the New York DOCCS system.

The county is now at 575 active cases with 33 hospitalizations, 1,004 recoveries, and 12 deaths. With a sustained positive rate around 5% for several weeks, the Elmira area was placed in an “orange zone” by Governor Cuomo, effective at midnight Friday morning.

The orange zone closes non-essential businesses such as barbershops and gyms for at least two weeks, as well as schools. The Elmira City, Horseheads, Elmira Heights school districts, as well as Notre Dame, are all moving to remote learning.

County Executive Moss says that the prison numbers will not affect the county’s orange zone standing.

This is a developing story and 18 News will have more information as it becomes available.

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