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New York Prison That Held El Chapo and Jeffrey Epstein Now Has a Coronavirus Case

A federal prisoner at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), the federal jail that has housed high-profile inmates such as Jeffrey Epstein and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus A memo from the jail’s warden obtained by VICE News says the inmate received the diagnosis…

New York Prison That Held El Chapo and Jeffrey Epstein Now Has a Coronavirus Case

A federal prisoner at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), the federal jail that has housed high-profile inmates such as Jeffrey Epstein and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus

A memo from the jail’s warden obtained by VICE News says the inmate received the diagnosis on Monday afternoon after “complaining of chills, body aches, and fever” Sunday morning.

“He had a dry cough and headache,” Warden M. Licon-Vitale wrote to jail staff. “He did not have shortness of breath, chest pain, or nasal congestion.”

The warden said the inmate was evaluated by jail medical staff at around 9 p.m. on Sunday and subsequently sent by ambulance to New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital. The warden’s memo says the inmate is due to be sent from the hospital back to the jail, where he will be placed in isolation. The inmate’s name and age have not been released.

The warden’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the situation.

The warden’s memo says the inmate was held in the jail’s 11 South unit, and that no other inmates are being transferred in or out of that area as a precautionary measure. All prisoners held in that area are scheduled to undergo medical evaluations, the warden wrote, and “will continue to be assessed daily for symptoms.”

“We are conducting a contact investigation and all staff who came in contact with the inmate within the last 14 days are being notified and screened,” the warden wrote.

The jail, located at 150 Park Row in downtown Manhattan, houses around 700 federal prisoners, mostly individuals who are awaiting trials in New York City federal courts.

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The facility has a high-security unit known as 10 South, one floor below where the inmate tested positive for COVID-19 that has been used to house some of the most notorious prisoners in the federal system. Those include El Chapo, the former Sinaloa cartel leader, and Epstein, the billionaire investor who hanged himself in his cell last August while awaiting trail on sex crimes charges. The unit has been dubbed “Little Gitmo” because of the extreme security precautions that are in place, and because several terrorism suspects have been held there.

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