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Erie County Sheriff's Office creates team to oversee coronavirus preparedness

The team will meet weekly to review office policy and procedures and discuss the latest medical information surrounding coronavirus and confirmed cases.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Erie County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday that it has created an internal team to oversee coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness within the Sheriff's Office. 

The team is being led by Undersheriff Mark Wipperman and will include:  Dr. Kevin McGee – Chief Medical Officer for Correctional Health; Christa Cutrona RN, MSN – Correctional Health Director; and 1st Deputy Superintended Michael Reardon – Correctional Health & Compliance, as well as deputies and civilian employees. 

“Nearly a month ago, he had our first encounter with an individual who was considered a medium risk after traveling to China. He was stopped and detained at the U.S. Port of Entry - Buffalo for an outstanding warrant, then he was transported to the Erie County Holding Center,” Sheriff Timothy Howard said in a released statement. 

“Our medical staff was current on the initial CDC guidelines and identified the prisoner as a medium risk. But now, with the virus spreading throughout the country and the state, we need to be prepared for inmates who pose a potential risk to our staff and other inmates.”

The team will be responsible for:

  • Updating the Infectious Disease Plan
  • Implementing a Respiratory Protection Program to ensure all current guidelines are followed
  • Focus on protecting Sheriff’s Office employees, inmates in its custody, and visitors
  • Both jails are taking steps to prepare an area for identified individuals that are mandated to be quarantined
  • All divisions of the Sheriff’s Office are currently reviewing policies and procedures related to infection prevention and transportation of an individual in its custody
  • The Sheriff’s Office is updating plans and equipment for patrol vehicles and substations.

The team will meet weekly to review office policy and procedures and discuss the latest medical information surrounding coronavirus and confirmed cases.

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