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Message from Sheriff Toulon

Dear Residents of Suffolk County:

 

As we continue to navigate our county through uncharted waters with the Coronavirus Pandemic, I want to remind you all that Suffolk County is a resilient community. We take care of each other and show compassion on a daily basis. When Superstorm Sandy devastated Suffolk County, our residents came together, supporting those in need and making changes in daily routines. We are, again, being asked to make changes to our everyday lives, including social distancing, working from home, and finding new childcare arrangements. While these changes are disruptive and uncomfortable, they are necessary to protect those in our community who are the most vulnerable.

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office is prepared to face this challenging time with you. We will continue to provide you with the exceptional service you deserve.  We do, however, ask you to work with us to reduce or mitigate the spread of the virus. Wear a face mask when out in public and when you can't remain 6 feet away from others.  

 

I encourage you to continue to support the businesses in your community. This pandemic has taken a great toll on our small business community, and they need our support now more than ever.  Finally, take the time to call your friends, check in on neighbors, and communicate with the elderly. Take a walk outside with your family and enjoy the fresh air. This is a time for us all to come together as a community.  Remain calm, wash your hands, and stay positive.  We will get through this crisis together.

 

-DR. ERROL D. TOULON, Jr., Suffolk County Sheriff

 

                                               

                                

This Chart is updated monthly. 

General Information

Background:

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the correctional facilities, protocols, which are ongoing, were put into place in early March to safeguard staff, inmates, and visitors. These measures are divided into 8 major categories within the Corrections Division 1) General Protocols; 2) New Inmate Protocols; 3) Temperature Screening Protocols; 4) Visiting Protocols; 5) Inmate Program Protocols; 6) Video Conferencing Protocols; 7) Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols; 8) Jail Medical Protocols.  Protocols were also put in place for non-essential employees.  

Phased-in between March 9 and April 1, 2020: All Corrections Officers had Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, surgical loop masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizer made available to them and all training had been suspended. Cleaning crews were added to every shift and clean high traffic areas of the facility multiple times a day.

 

As of March 16, 2020: Lineup had been suspended and all Corrections Officers were given their assignments individually and were to report directly to their post; most staff meetings were being conducted via teleconference.  On March 17, 2020: All employee exercise areas had been closed; the cafeteria remained open, but not for seated dining.  Corrections Officers were expected to eat their meals at their assigned post. On March 21, 2020: Corrections Officers were assigned to steady posts throughout their workweek to reduce their social interaction with other Officers; Corrections Officers working overtime on the same shift were assigned to the same post/area as often as possible to keep the same Officers working together and avoid as much cross-contamination as possible; the movement of staff between the Correctional Facilities has been stopped as much as possible. 

 

Staff members have temperatures taken upon entering the building and must always wear face coverings. Over the summer and into the fall, the gym was reopened, and Academy training and Lineup resumed all with physical distancing and mask-wearing requirements.

 

Staff who test positive are put out on administrative leave until they return a negative COVID test. All staff deemed exposed to COVID in anyway are also placed on administrative leave for either 14 days or 10 days with a negative COVID test.

By April 20th, all inmates were issued two washable masks each and this continues to this day. They are laundered as needed and are replaced as needed. They are required to always wear them. To date, we have produced over 22000 of these cloth masks in house through the inmate sewing program.

 

Inmates are housed in a special quarantine housing pod for 14 days before being moved into general housing.  This applies to new intakes and following any visits to a hospital.

Closed housing units were opened to spread out the inmate population and decrease density throughout Correctional Facilities; the housing areas are kept at 50% capacity to allow for social distancing. There is frequent cleaning in all areas and inmates are issued cleaning supplies to keep their areas cleaned. All supply levels are checked daily and replenished when needed.

Inmates are closely monitored for the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 by the Jail Medical Unit. Inmates who test positive are housed in a special isolation pod and are seen by Jail Medical a minimum of three times a day. Inmates deemed to have had a possible exposure to COVID are housed in a quarantine pod and are also checked by Jail Medical multiple times a day. As of January 14, all inmates in quarantine must test negative to be moved back to general population after potential exposure to COVID-19..

Visitation was canceled on March 16 but we were able to run some programs and maintain connections with service providers via Web-Ex, (which was organized through the jail’s new START Resource Center), and by phone. To ease the stress on the inmates, a program to provide two free 15 minute phone calls to each inmate per week was negotiated with our inmate phone provider.

 

As of March 16, 2020, all outside program volunteers had been prohibited from entering the Correctional Facilities. As of March 21, 2020, all religious advisors had been prohibited from entering the correctional facilities.  Religious congregation was still permitted in groups of up to ten (10) inmates at a time and spaced at least six (6) feet apart.  Depending on the denomination, religious services were led by a recommended inmate designee, or a videotaped service was provided by the respective religious advisor. 

 

Non-Contact visitation and service providers restarted in the summer and fall.

Starting in Mid-November as COVID infections started to ramp back up many of the former restrictions were re-imposed. All non-county service providers reverted back to remote visitation for their inmate clients as of Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

 

On Saturday, November 21, 2020, Sheriff Toulon suspended all inmate visits until further notice.

 

Attorneys may visit their clients via booth visits only unless requested ahead of time by the attorney. If requested, attorneys will have to show proof of a negative test prior to entry, be subject to an onsite temperature screening, and wear a mask or face covering at all times.

 

All previous COVID-19 precautions continue to be in place or have been reinstated. All new admission inmates or inmates returning from any appointment outside the facility are put into quarantine for 14 days at the Yaphank Facility. Inmates are issued face masks and must wear them at all times while outside of their cells. Inmate workers sanitize public spaces three times daily, and cleaning supplies are available to inmates to sanitize their cells. Staff members have temperatures taken upon entering the building and must wear face coverings at all times.

 

On December 7th we issued the following statement:

Effective December 7, 2020, the Pistol License Bureau is temporarily operating under new procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19 inside the Suffolk County Correctional Facility and Sheriff’s Administrative offices. The Pistol License Bureau and the Fingerprinting ID Units are currently closed to any non-Sheriff’s Office staff. Staff is continuing to process pistol applications under revised procedures.

Community Service during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Sheriff's Office led numerous healthcare hero parades during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.  

We appreciate our healthcare workers and other essential employees.  In addition to the Sheriff's supportive visits, County Correction Officers started a program to make face masks. County inmates are sewing masks on a daily basis and we have distributed thousands throughout Suffolk County.  Learn more by clicking the "I Protect You & You Protect Me" box below. 

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Additional Information and Resources

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline:
1-888-364-3065

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Track Reported Cases of COVID-19 with Johns Hopkins.  Click the map to open a new window. 

The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office is an Accredited Law Enforcement Agency

© 2020 SUFFOLK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

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