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Former Auburn prison inmate tests positive for coronavirus; employees will be quarantined

Former Auburn prison inmate tests positive for coronavirus; employees will be quarantined

Auburn Correctional Facility file

Auburn Correctional Facility on State Street in Auburn.

An inmate who was housed at Auburn Correctional Facility until March 17 has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the Cayuga County Health Department. 

The health department learned of the confirmed case of COVID-19 on Sunday. The inmate was transferred from Auburn Correctional Facility to another site on Tuesday. 

The department is in contact with Auburn Correctional Facility to notify staff at the prison who were in contact with the inmate. Any staff members who had close contact with the inmate will be placed into mandatory quarantine and monitored by the department. 

Members of the employees' households are asked to perform social distancing to avoid exposure. 

The announcement followed the department's latest update on the number of confirmed cases in Cayuga County. Two more people — a woman in her 20s and a woman in her 30s — tested positive for COVID-19

Two more confirmed coronavirus cases in Cayuga County

The county has three confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The first, a man in his 30s, was announced last week. 

A case involving an employee or inmate at a state prison was a concern because of the confined environment. The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association called on the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the agency that oversees the prison system, to end inmate visitation

DOCCS initially announced that it would screen visitors for COVID-19. A week later, the department temporarily suspended visitation at prisons due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

DOCCS: Visitation suspended at NY state prisons

The virus is spreading across the state. New York has more than 15,000 confirmed cases, according to the latest figures provided by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The state has nearly half of all confirmed cases in the U.S. 

New Yorkers are encouraged to stay at home and practice social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.

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