New data from the the city’s jail oversight board revealed almost 42 percent of the city’s jail population on Wednesday was under quarantine.
That means 1,926 detainees were locked into their housing units — 87 housing units in total. These inmates may have been exposed to the coronavirus, but are asymptomatic.
The Board of Correction released new data late Wednesday night revealing how the city is handling the coronavirus outbreak in city jails. According to the board’s figures, 286 detainees were under observation — they were either COVID-19 positive or were symptomatic. 184 detainees have a positive diagnosis. So do 169 staff members of the Department of Correction and 36 staff members at Correctional Health Services (the agency that administers health care in city jails).
The new numbers show the population in city jails has decreased since COVID-19 took hold of the city. On Wednesday, it was down to 4,632 people.
The Board of Correction is responsible for overseeing the city’s jails to ensure detainees and correction officers are treated appropriately. Prior to the first case on Rikers, the board had demanded the Department of Correction release vulnerable inmates from Rikers to protect them from the contagion.
Earlier this week, Mayor de Blasio said the city had released 900 inmates from city jails.
In a statement released Wednesday night along with the data, the former Interim Chair Jacqueline Sherman and Incoming Chair Jennifer Jones Austin said, "The Board also commends the actions taken by the City, the District Attorneys and New York State for taking action to release approximately 900 people from custody over the past two weeks, as a part of an important effort to return as many people as possible and appropriate under the circumstances to their communities, and to reduce the population in the jails to allow for improved separation.
The Board will continue to monitor and report on the response to this crisis to provide necessary information to the public, and continues to encourage DOC and CHS to increase their public communications as they carry out this important work."