NEW YORK (WETM) – Corrections and parole officers in New York State can now wear N95 respirator or surgical masks while on duty, DOCCS tells 18 News.
Chemung County Legislator Rodney Strange announced the move on social media saying “we worked together and got the job done!”
Officers were originally told they could only wear masks “when appropriate to the medical situation,” sparking calls by union leaders and local legislators to amend the rules.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision released the following statement regarding officers now being allowed to wear masks:
After thorough internal review and in order to continue to protect staff and the incarcerated population from Covid-19 entering or leaving our facilities, effective immediately, staff will be permitted to wear either an N95 respirator or a surgical-type mask while on duty inside of the correctional facility.
Use of these personal protective devices in the correctional setting beyond what the Department has already provided, to the extent staff already possesses these items and will not be reducing their availability to frontline healthcare workers, the Department will not oppose their use if there is a chance that they may slow or even stop the spread of this virus from entering our facilities.
In addition, incarcerated individuals who are subject to quarantine will be issued a surgical-type mask to further reduce the risk of any secondary transmission of COVID-19.
Also, the new mask protocol has also been extended to parole officers as well.NYDOCCS