Sheriff’s office changes procedure amid COVID-19 pandemic


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Sheriff’s Department is asking residents to abide by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s enforcement to practice social distancing to lessen the spread of COVID-19.

Sheriff Craig Apple said they’ve prepared for worst case scenarios like the coronavirus pandemic.

“Did we ever expect to see it? No. Absolutely not. But I can tell you we’re darn well prepared,” Apple said.

This weekend Apple and his deputies put together personal protective equipment for first responders and health providers to keep them safe while they work.

Apple said protocol has changed due to the virus. People can expect longer calls with dispatchers so they can learn more about the health of the residents inside.

“Maybe you’re quarantined, maybe you’re not. Maybe a household member is in the upstairs part of the house quarantined. We need to know that,” Apple said.

A deputy and a nurse who work at the Albany County Jail have both tested positive for the virus. Prisoners and those who have come in contact with them have been contacted and told to self-quarantine.

The department is still reaching out to people who may have come in contact with the nurse.

“It’s very tough when you’re confined within a correctional facility … but the men and women assigned over there have done an outstanding job,” Apple said.

Incoming inmates are put in quarantine for 14 days, and those with compromised immune systems have been isolated.

“We’re not panicking. We’re just trying to calm everyone else and say, ‘Listen. Everyone just follow the advice and we’ll get through this,” Apple said.

Albany County is also now doing arraignments through video chat to limit risk of exposure. Apple said this is a first for the county.


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