The Department is committed to protecting the health and safety of those living and working in our facilities. Since the outbreak began, we have been preparing our facilities and our staff to safely and effectively manage this extraordinary challenge. Working in conjunction with our medical service partner, Correctional Health Services (CHS), the Department has taken and will take the following steps to protect people in custody and our staff against COVID-19.
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Personal Protective Equipment: In accordance with national and local guidelines, all staff and all persons in custody are provided and instructed to wear face masks.
Staff access to COVID-19 testing
All DOC and CHS personnel, both uniformed and non-uniformed, have regular access to free testing. In addition to testing available to all DOC and CHS staff through Northwell Health Urgent Care sites, the Department is now offering free testing on Rikers Island multiple times per week. The Department strongly encourages all staff to get tested frequently to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. Staff can register for on-island testing through an online portal or phone hotline to schedule an appointment in advance. Walk-ins are also accepted.
Protecting Vulnerable Populations
DOC and CHS have taken precautions to identify and protect those who may be at high risk of a serious course of illness from COVID-19. These precautions include placement in dedicated housing units for distinct populations:
Public Health Emergency Report
Local law 59 of 2020 requires the Department and CHS to issue reports during public health emergencies and post certain portions of the report on their website.
• Timeline of Significant Events related to COVID-19
• CHS City Council Local Law 59 Reports